Posts Tagged ‘husband’

Destination? Joyful! ™ from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for our Coffee Hour! I’m truly excited that you’re here! So last week I started a new series, Thinking out Loud Thursdays and it was about peace. We actually did have quite a response to it, but I haven’t been able to ask if we could post that response on the blog, so hopefully we can pick up with that next week. But the good news is we can continue on with our big dig in our search for all the ingredients of joy, and we left off with a sacrifice of joy and how it all ties in as far as us in the world today. Grab your coffee and come on in, with your shovels! 🙂

In my research for deeper understanding as to the term of “a sacrifice of joy,” I came upon the verse we talked about yesterday, 1st Peter 2:5 wherein Peter is succinctly sharing to his fellow believers then, as well as to us here and now, that when we come to accept Christ as our Savior, we become one of the priests in the priesthood, aka, a member of the family of Christ, part of the Bride (church) of Christ. So each one of us are priests! Really? Okay, I’ll tell on myself here: I’ve always thought the term “priest” was associated to being a Catholic and declaring celibacy for all the days of your life, in addition to being completely devoted to Christ, of course. But here, in 1st Peter, God, through Peter, is declaring that each one of us is a priest in the Royal Priesthood!

Okay, stay with me now because I’m about to get to the sacrifice part, which began in the Old Testament days wherein priests would offer up sacrifices for themselves and for their people – whew, I bet they were extremely thankful when that responsibility was taken from them by and through the Ultimate Sacrifice!

Once the Ultimate Sacrifice was made, the New Testament church, meaning all of us, received the direction to offer up spiritual sacrifices and this is where this gets super exciting. Why? Because it’s something we can do! It’s not bloody and gory, but these types of sacrifices are obtainable … for a cost! Yup, I said there’s a cost so let’s do some digging to see what all it’s going to cost us to offer up a sacrifice of joy.

According to the New Testament each one of us has the obligation of offering up not one but seven sacrifices! Something tells me after we get through each one of them we are going to understand this term, “a sacrifice of joy” a lot better.

The first one is found in Hebrews 13:15: “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” So sacrifice number 1 is praise. Why do suppose that “praise” is a sacrifice?”

Well, I know when I’m feeling like picking up my broom and flying around the room, and maybe even leaving home with it, to just stop and actually say the name Jesus, and begin to think upon things that are noble, whatever is lovely, things that are true takes a real act of discipline. In fact, it sometimes feels like pulling the reigns in on a wild horse that refuses to listen to direction!

As a matter of fact, this very thing just happened the other day as we were trying to get some last minute things done before leaving for the long drive to pick up our little four-year-old grandson for a three-week visit, a long overdue visit, I might add. As the minutes ticked away, my husband’s warning that I better be on time and ready to go at 10:00, not 10:01 got louder and closer as if it were reverberating right in my ear. And then I began to get really irritable, downright grumpy, and I started to pick a fight with him because he wasn’t helping me by doing something the way that I thought he should. I mean, he was helping me but making a complete mess while he was at it! And I let him know it! Ugh… I get so disgusted with myself sometimes and disillusioned at how ugly I can be!

But let me tell you, my emotional thermostat was about to explode and I was headed for that broom and was about to leave home and tell him to go by himself. But greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world. [1st John 4:4] I actually stopped slamming things around and swiping at the counter fast and furiously long enough to say the name Jesus, and you know what? That was a form of praise to His ears! I came to my senses almost immediately! Oh, how I thank God for His merciful reminders of who I am in Him, how far I’ve come, and all that I’ve learned, because I stopped what I was doing after I received a little tap-tap in my conscience that echoed down into my heart, and I explained to my husband, “It’s not you; it’s me.”

Of course he had to have a smart retort and I almost fell for the enemy’s plot to have me strike another match in the now smoldering fire and give him a “WHATEVER!” But I didn’t. In my mind, I just remember asking for Jesus to intervene so I wouldn’t make a mess of things, thanking Him for loving me enough to not let me continue in my flesh without a conscience choice. I began to explain to my husband that while I was so looking forward to seeing our little guy, I was also nervous about how he would receive us, if he was looking forward to coming home with us for a few weeks, and I also expressed a reality that I’m trying to wrestle with: the work of it all!

Immediately I felt better; it didn’t solve what I was having all the anxiety about, but it put me in touch with it and I vocalized it by sharing it, risking my husband’s disapproval. It was out there on the counter so I could look at it and deal with it and become better equipped to get through it.

You know what? It worked. He actually, not right away, but within minutes, said, “I understand!”

My mouth dropped and I actually said, “You do?”

“Yeah, I get it.”

My heart immediately filled with praise, which calmed my spirit and I was able to chill out and remember that whatever God brings me to, He’ll bring me through. He honored my tiny, tiny, tiny sacrifice of praise and turned it into a jinormous praise party within me!

Join me next week for the other six sacrifices, which include a sacrifice of joy!

Joyfully,

kim L

Evinda

Invitation Tuesdays!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

 

Thanks for joining me for our little Coffee Hour break and our invitation Tuesdays. When you’re done reading this, feel free to share this invitation. We want to pack The River Church out! Grab your coffee and come on in.

So as I mentioned, the second half will be like a T.V. talk show – we’re even going to have commercials honoring all our raffle vendors/donators and we are going to address real life issues. What I didn’t mention is this is going to be the most interactive event we’ve held but we need your help. We have heard from several people about their relationship struggles, challenges and questions, but we’d like to hear from more of you. What is your most important relationship? What is a consistent struggle you have in that relationship?

And please know, we are not limiting “relationship” to husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. What about the relationship with our kids, or our BFF, or an unlovable/difficult friend? Maybe you struggle with your mom, or your dad. Whatever the relationship is and whatever the relationship struggle/challenge is, we’d like to hear about it so we can perhaps offer a different perspective, a little diamond that shines brilliantly on a solution! So far we have a couple of issues as they relate to the mother/son relationship; we have several husband/wife issues, mother/daughter issue but we all know the types of issues are endless so we’d like yours! We will, of course, do this anonymously, so please, email me at evinda@chicklitpower.com or Steve Atkinson, M.F., at shrinkhead@aol.com .

In the meantime, mark your calendars:

feb-23rd-flyer(optimized)

Excited,

Evinda

IMG_8444-2 blog

 

Nana Holds-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Thank you for joining me today for a little break. Grab your coffee and come on in, away from the distractions and pulls on you!

The first week was probably the hardest for many reasons but the main one was the overwhelming reality of the responsibility of Bryden, how to protect him from the choices that his parents had made while convincing him everything in his world hadn’t changed. But it had and I consistently reminded myself that our God had brought us to this situation and HE would carry us through with or without our trust so I may as well lean on and in Him so as to gain all the revelations along the way.

Bryden’s world isn’t the only one that had changed. His papa’s world changed dramatically and he had a hard time hiding the sadness. That was probably what weighed heavier on and in my heart then the reality of the responsibility of a toddler and having to start over raising a child. Day after day I watched my husband age with the burden of sadness.

Each morning I’d hear his steps as he walked across the bathroom floor, heavy, heavy, heavy, and it wasn’t until several days later that I realized that something was missing: He was no longer singing in the shower like he used to. That may sound funny in a weird way to you but I can remember the first years of our marriage, how he always sang worship songs in the shower and whenever it stopped, I then would know that he had a heavy heart. Well, this was definitely one of those seasons.

Just a little detour: Ladies, if you are married, pay attention to the little things that your guy does that make you smile and appreciate him for them.

Because George’s world had changed, my world had changed. Watching him wait for the daily phone call from my stepson, his son, was also incredibly painful, but when the call finally came, some of the tension released. The first ray of hope came that first week with that first phone call that I answered and I’ll never, ever forget it. George wasn’t home so I got to talk with him for a couple of minutes and it was in this conversation that my stepson told me something he hadnever told me in the eight-plus years I’ve been married to his dad: He told me he loved me and how sorry he was; he then went on to acknowledge, “You’ve been like a mom to me and… I’m so sorry. I love you, Kim.”

My heart stopped long enough to soak up those words and I had no idea they would mean so very much, as if I had waited all this time for them. As I hung up the phone, I felt that spark of hope ignite within me again reminding me that He who works all things together for good was and is and always will be sovereign and in control.

Humbly,

Evinda

 

Gifts of the Season, From the Heart, Not the Pocket-From Coffee Hour @ Chickilt Power

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for joining me for a little break. I hope you are enjoying this gift series. Grab your coffee and let’s get to some ideas of who to give this gift of peace to.

Have you ever heard the saying, “If Mamma isn’t happy, no one’s happy”? Oh, when will we as women, wives and/or moms realize that that we are the temperature controller of the house? And the crazy thing is we don’t have to be home to set it! 🙂 What I mean is our men often gauge their mood on ours. I’ll tell on myself to explain what I mean.

One time I came home and our four-legged children greeted me with such puppy love and I bent down to give them some love right back. Apparently, I had gotten into a habit of not greeting my husband that happily and so this particular day, there he was, down on the ground kicking his feet up in the air and wiggling as if he were a happy four-legged child! 🙂 That was a real eye-opener for me. And since CPM’s office is in our home, I really have to make a concerted effort to not only acknowledge the fact that he’s home, but to drop what I’m doing asap and greet him with the love and respect he deserves. That sets the temperature just right! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Okay, so back to who to give peace to. You may not think this has anything to do with the price of eggs, but let me give you a question to think about that goes with the temperature factor: When there is contention in the home, whether with our spouses or our children, do we add sparks and/or logs to the already burning fire or do we splash some water on the situation by being “at ease” in the midst of it all?

Is there someone you’ve harmed with your words or actions? HIS desire for us is to be “at ease and unharmed” in our relationships. As much as is possible with you, and me, we must live peaceably with others.

I don’t know about you, but I cherish these definitions of peace that I’ve discovered because they remind me of His love for us. What a sweet, sweet word picture, that He desires for us to be unharmed, to be at ease, to be whole!

Remember, you can’t give it if you don’t possess it . . .

Peaceably,

Evinda

 

 

He’s a Housekeeper, too? Cleaning the Work/Hobby Room-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for coming by today for this sort of interactive series. My heart’s desire is that though this is turning into sort of a story, if you will, that the reality of His desire to meet with you and me every day will resonate in your heart and inspire you as you move forward in your relationship with Him. Grab your coffee and come on in. We are supposed to be moving to the next room. 🙂

The next morning, I overslept and on my way out the door, I saw Him sitting in the work/hobby room. I offered Him an apologetic smile and kept on going. By the time I made it to my car, I could hear voices of condemnation and before I could get out of the driveway, the condemnation turned into waves of shame. I looked at the clock. I was already late for my appointment. “What’s a couple more minutes?” I muttered under my breath. I forced the car into park and ran back into the house through the garage door and ran around the corner into the game room.

He looked up immediately and there was such genuine love and peace on His face that it literally took my breath away. I stood there for what seemed a long, long time but was only a minute, according to the clock. Finally, He spoke.

“What’s wrong?”

“I was just feeling so terrible about running out the door without spending any time with you and I wanted to see . . .” My voice faded out with my courage.

“See what?” He encouraged.

I looked up a bit sheepishly and finished my question. “See if we could sort of reschedule and maybe meet tonight?”

Again, the love in His eyes wrapped around me and His words held me in that love: “That would be wonderful . . .”

I felt His hesitancy. “But . . .”

He smiled at my discernment. “I know how your evenings go, Daughter. There are several demands made upon your time with the children needing to be driven here, there and everywhere, sports schedules, dinner to make, homework to help with, and your husband would like some of your attention, too.”

I was humbled to my knees by His understanding. “Hearing you say it even sounds a little overwhelming, Father.” I smiled up at Him.

“Oh, I understand more than you think I do. And though these are your first ministries, so to speak, I long for you to invite me into them to help you so they don’t feel as overwhelming to you. I didn’t come to condemn you, but to save you from yourself and to fellowship with you in and through all things.”

“But what’s in it for you?” I asked, completely flabbergasted by His unconditional generosity.

He shook His head but not in frustration, but patience, almost as if amused by my question. “I just want your heart . . .” He paused momentarily. “All of your heart.”

“That’s why I came back,” I cried. “Because I felt so guilty for not meeting with you this morning and I panicked, thinking that ‘feeling’ was going to go away and then I started feeling this awful . . .” I faltered, not sure of what I was trying to say.

“Was it a sort of condemning feeling?” He finished

“It was,” I exclaimed.

He smiled. “As we meet more and more, and especially after we have cleaned out all of the rooms of the heart, you will come to know in your heart that that ‘feeling’ of condemnation is not of me. Commit this to memory and it will help you in those moments when condemnation threatens to take you away from me. ”

“Wait!” I hurriedly stood up and looked for a pen and some paper in the room. I saw Him pointing to something out of the corner of my eye and went toward it. My eyes welled up as I realized what it was, a journal that I had started several months ago, vowing to begin writing. I dusted it off and reached for the pen beside it and returned to sit at His feet and He continued.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Me, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

He stopped and lowered His gaze to rest upon me. I finished writing the last word in time to look up at Him as He began to speak again.

“See, you coming back, despite being late this morning, was My Spirit in you.” He pointed at me for emphasis.

My tears wouldn’t stop. Silently they dripped, like a slow leak undetected.

“I want you to want to come and meet with Me. I will never force you, despite what many think of My Father and Me. But they believe that because they don’t spend time with Me. They begin to and then life gets in the way and waves of condemnation carry them in the sea of life and they stay away.”

I could feel His sadness as if it was a person that had just walked into the room and interrupted our time together. I took the Kleenex He handed me and tried to wipe my tears away.

“So don’t go getting ritualistic about our time together. If you seek Me first, everything else will be added unto you but I do understand that you must unlearn other things as well. The more we meet, the quicker you will learn My ways and understand the Agape love I and My Father have for you, and for all my kids, for that matter. He sent me to abolish that very thing, you know.”

My eyebrows knit together in a question mark.

“The law,” He intercepted. The more you understand about My gift of grace, the more free you will become from the yoke of the laws put upon you by others, and by yourself,” He added.

“I’m not so sure I understand,” I confessed.

“You will,” He promised. “You will. Now go on with your day, but do me one more favor.”

“Of course,” I assured Him.

“Remember I am with you wherever you go. You don’t have to confine me to just the room of the heart that we are meeting in and cleaning.”

My eyes popped open in disbelief. “Are you serious?” I asked in disbelief.

He chuckled. “I am with you always. Our meeting times are to nurture and strengthen this relationship and I truly cherish our uninterrupted time together, and yet My love is not conditional upon them.”

I looked up at the clock and though it felt as though I had been in there for much longer because of all I had learned, it had only been fifteen minutes.

“You better get going in your day. Don’t worry about being late; I’ll grant you favor in the hours to come.”

Blessed beyond belief,

Evinda

 

How to get the Most out of Your Day (3) From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for coming by and joining me for a little break. This is our third coffee hour in this sort of interactive series about how to get the most out of your day, and I so hope you are enjoying it. 🙂 Grab your coffee and come on in.

I’m wondering how it is that you can tell when you’re not managing your time wisely or in the best way. I shared just a few, but let me rewind and remind.

The first one I talked about was getting a manicure. I so love talking like our nail ladies, but let me clarify I in no way do that to belittle them. It’s just the way that they say things is funny to us as Americans. My nail lady is very, very special in my heart and in fact, we call each other sisters because we pray for each other and encourage each other. I truly love her and her family! Anyway, the point I was trying to make with the manicure issue is if we have the money to pay for the manicure, why not enjoy it? And I know I’m not just telling on myself; I see it every time I go to get a manicure, women in such a hurry and not really enjoying the pampering!

Another “you know” I talked about is when someone much younger than you splashes perspective like a jug of cold water in your face and serves you a piece of humble pie with her observations turned into wisdom! And again, don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying the older shouldn’t learn from the younger, not at all. In fact, isn’t it so profound when you’re in the midst of your craziness, running around like a chicken with no head, and out of the mouth of babes comes some words of wisdom? Those times work like an unexpected red light on a freeway!

Everyone laughed when I shared the “you know” about my husband getting on the ground and acting like one of our four-legged kids so he could have some attention, too. It was funny, and yet, I almost cry every time I think about it. Why? Because it really means I’m moving too fast for him; that he’s not getting the time or attention from me that he deserves. Who in your house does this or has this applied to?

Many of us can relate to just being so busy that we make silly mistakes, like going out with your shirt inside out! What’s something silly you’ve done because time has gotten away from you?

Speaking of time, what about those time stealers that can really tip the scale and knock you out of balance? These things that can be tools in our life become weapons when we spend too much time with them, for example, E-mail, Facebook, computer games, to name just a few. You might be asking, “How much time is too much time?” A simple answer to that question would be this: If you’re spending more time on either one of these than you do with Him, that’s too much time.

I’ll let you go, but please join me on Blog Talk Radio today at 1:00 Pacific time in our Destination? Joyful! ™ show where we are unpacking the piece of junk of an eating disorder!

Have a heart-squeezing weekend. 🙂

Evinda

 

The Night after the Bachelorette-From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for coming by for “The Night after the Bachelorette.” Grab your coffee and come on in. We’re about to go on the hometown dates with Ashley and the four guys, Ben, Constantine, Ames and JP, and it appears we have some concerned families.

It’s already the first commercial break and the only thing she’s said that is worth writing is that when you meet the families, it puts things on a whole different level. Okay, let’s get to the first hometown date with Constantine, who is a restaurant owner.

Oh, I can’t wait to meet his family. He took her to his restaurant and she was really impressed with the love all his staff showed him. He taught her how to make a pizza while his staff peeked around the corner totally checking her out. He’s actually very funny and Ashley picked up that he’s totally real and more comfortable in his own space. Constantine just said something rather profound: “That’s like the beauty of love is that you can only be open and ready for it. You can’t do anything to make it happen or force it to happen.” OMG, you should have seen his chefs and waiters and waitresses all looking through the glass window out onto the patio, straining their necks, a couple of them obviously on tippy-toes to see if he was going to kiss her and he didn’t disappoint them! 🙂

Now it’s time to meet his family. How cute; they have balloons hanging up with a “Welcome Home Constantine” sign. His sister, mother and father were so excited to see him. Dad recognizes his happiness right away. The love in the family is beautiful music and it inspires Ashley.

Mom initiated a one-on-one talk with Ashley and I love her insight. She wants her son to find the love of his life, but she feels that they need more time because of course, everything is wonderful when you’re jetted away to these awesome places and beautiful beaches, and life is wonderful, but real life is different! Can I get an AMEN!!! I like her! Now she wants to ask a mama question, which was legitimate. She wanted to know if this did go in that direction, would Ashley relocate to where they all were, and Ashley said without a doubt, she wouldn’t have a problem doing that, especially if it’s what he wants.

Now it’s time for father and son who reiterates that it takes time, but he gives his blessing if he feels that Ashley’s the one. Dad said to use his mom and him as an example. He talked about ups and downs, that it’s not going to be perfect, but in the beginning, it should be.

Ashley was obviously very comfortable and had no idea about the planned surprise just as they were going to get ready to leave the doorbell rings and his entire family shows up, grandmas, aunts, uncles, sister, cousins and then they did this dance. I could so get on with his family. “All the pieces of the puzzle are really put together for me and Constantine,” Ashley said. She really didn’t want to go. And Constantine’s dad, well he wished for them to have love forever.

Ahhh, Ames is so excited to see her and his family includes a sister and her husband, another sister and a brother and his wife and his nephews and nieces. Mom can see that Ashley has really caught Ames attention, and his sister Serena could see the spark but wonders if Ashley has it. So, she gets right to it and tells Ashley clearly he has feelings for you. It’s serious now. You’re meeting his family now, his nieces and nephews and I’m just curious, what are your feelings for Ames?

Ashley admits that their relationship has moved a lot slower than the others but she’s choosing him over the relationships that have moved faster because she sees so many good things in him.

Serena asks another tough question: are you comfortable when you guys are together? Is it easy or do you feel like you have to work toward things or do you guys just — does it come naturally?

She feels something for him; he’s different in a good way and she’s just not ready to stop learning about him.

His sister says, “He’s like an onion. You keep peeling layers and you’re going to find out more.” She then confirms that he’s the most loyal, honest person you’ll ever know and he’s a romantic. His sister says that Ames has brought other girlfriends home before but this time it’s different. “He’s smitten with you.”

All Ashley could say is she wants to know more.

When Mom and Ames talk, he really comes out with how much he admires how she’s handled things. We definitely have a different opinion on that one.

Okay, now back with his sister Serena. Ashley asked her to tell her a bit about Ames’s father who died when Ames was ten and then his step-dad passed away, too. So that gave Ashley another piece to this puzzle. Serena wasn’t convinced that Ashley’s spark was/is as bright as Ames. Oh, now Ashley is telling Ames’ mom that she thinks they’re both similar and yet, when Ames has said that, she looked a bit bemused. Bummer, she just admitted to still missing the spark, that romance and passion. Why is it we feel that has to come first?

Oops, his sister gave Ames a heads up about kicking up the romance, so he did just that and took her to this beautiful garden and under his favorite tree with a picnic lunch.

Oooh, I like what Ames says: You can have romantic through the ordinary. There’s so much more magic in the ordinary; life doesn’t have to be like fireworks. And then she reached over and he leaned in and kissed her. Then he took her on a horse-drawn carriage with some beautiful horses, the perfect ending to their hometown date, a storybook romance.

Now it’s time for Ben, Sonoma, California. This is the winemaker and he says it’s his turn to surprise her all day. They start at the winery, and he shows her many more facets to him and they share a sweet moment before they begin their picnic in the rain. Ben tells Ashley that he’s only brought one woman home to meet his mother, and he assures her that it’s a big deal to him. Ashley asked Ben to describe his dad: “A gentle giant, super happy with life, soft-spoken, didn’t say a lot but super, super happy about life. He would have liked you.” Ben admits that this process has put him in touch with a different side of himself, the emotional side and he likes it. I hope he’s able to say that no matter what happens. Ben makes it very clear that “my mom and sister have to like you, or it’s not going to work for me.” If things don’t go well, then it may be the end for me.” Wow, his vineyard is beautiful.

Ben’s sister breaks the ice by talking about Ben’s hair, and then admitted to being the one that signed him up for the Bachelorette. Julia says Ashley is sweet, but she’s skeptical so she brings Ben in the kitchen and they talk, heart to heart. Ben admits to being into it despite it being scary and exciting all at the same time. When his sister asked if he saw himself engaged at the end of this, she smiled when he responded that if things keep progressing the way that they are, he most definitely sees himself engaged. Wow, I sure hope he don’t get a broken heart. 🙂 🙁  🙂

Ben told his mom that he hasn’t said he loves her but he likes her a lot. He’s really grown through this process, and he talks about his dad that passed away, and mom tells him that she thinks dad would be proud of him. Ahh, Ben has tears in his eyes. What a sensitive heart. With tears running down his face, he admits to missing his dad. There really is a little boy inside each man.

Okay, so now it’s JP’s hometown and this is who I think she feels the most for. We’re in Long Island and JP’s so excited to have her all to himself and he didn’t sleep a wink all night. It’s raining so JP has a special plan for them and Ashley narrates that she doesn’t care if she walks with JP down the street for three hours. She just wants to be with him. That says a lot! They’re going roller skating and didn’t even get their skates on before kissing. She is the most genuine with him. She’s going to meet his mother, father, his brother Roy and his brother’s girlfriend. JP admits to taking only four girls home to meet his family. He also admits that he’s willing to risk getting hurt for a chance at love. Interesting concept, huh?

The welcome from the family was genuine and loving. Mom is concerned and has so many questions to ask. She is honest about not wanting to see her son’s heart hurt like it was hurt before. When she asked if he was in love, he couldn’t quite say it, but he is confident that she doesn’t share what they share with the other guys. Mom is still guarded and tells Ashley as much as she relives a season of broken-heartedness for JP and says she’s nervous because she sees love in JP’s eyes when he looks at her. Mom really puts her on the spot and Ashley doesn’t flinch at all, but in fact encouraged it. She fell in love with JP’s family and talking to Chris, she has no regrets. I think maybe Constantine and JP and Ben get to stay, but let’s see.

Ben is the first name she calls to give a rose to. JP is second. Boy, they’re milking it. Just say Constantine’s name and get it over with. Whew, she just did. Poor Ames, he’s completely shocked, but still he’s smiling. He breaks down a little bit, telling her how impressed he is with her, and that it was beautiful and even more poetic than he expected and that he will remember every second of it. What a truly nice, nice guy, another broken heart. Somebody please tell me what is the purpose in all of this?

Have a great day,

Evinda

 

Why do bad things happen to good people? From Coffee Hour@ Chicklit Power

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks so much for coming by. I’m really enjoying this series because it’s making me dig for some much-needed answers for people who may not even recognize their need for a Savior, let alone a coffee hour with God! 🙂 Grab your coffee and let’s go to that comfy quiet place and find out how that question was answered about why bad things happen to good people.

So I’ve just experienced a major wave of moisture washing my entire body after handing this lady my book and inviting her to look through it. I sat back down just as the hot flash subsided and my girlfriend and I continued our conversation. About twenty minutes later, the lady came back with my book and sort of tosses it back on my table. “I think you’re too optimistic.”

I was stunned speechless for a minute, and I think I heard my friend utter, “wow.” As her accusation collided with my mind, I smiled because that’s probably the greatest insult I’ve had in a long time! 🙂 I also was able to recognize that she wasn’t even cognizant of the fact that she was begging for some sort of compassionate response. All I could say is, “Why do you say that?”

She opened up like a gushing faucet, only what came gushing out wasn’t clean water, but emotions riddled with frustration, bitterness and resentment bordering on anger. I understood quickly that this woman needed to be heard and within a few minutes, my friend and I learned where all those negative emotions stemmed from.

She shared with us that her husband had been struck by a car and had been in a coma for three weeks. The way she was talking made it seem like he was still in a coma but we learned later that he was now in some form of rehabilitation. She in fact was there at Starbucks in Redlands while her husband was in physical therapy/rehab at Loma Linda.

Her face softened and the bitterness and anger seemed to recede to the far distance of her heart and mind as she began talking about what a good man her husband was before the accident, how he was always optimistic and that he still is, “and I can’t figure out how he can be like that,” she added, “because we don’t know if he will ever be the same.” She paused, “And my whole life has changed.”

A-ha, so now we’re getting somewhere, I thought to myself.

Then she went on to explain how she had lost sixty pounds just a little over a year ago and she had put twelve of it back on and couldn’t seem to lose it. The anger and bitterness came back to the surface like an angry wave crashing on the shore. Her anger was making her so uncomfortable in her own skin.

Now I could empathize with her some, and I did. I gave her some exercise tips and then I complimented her on her prior weight loss. And then I validated her question like this: “You’re absolutely right,” and I called her by name. I said, “Bad things do happen to good people but good things always come out of bad things, if you look for them.”

She was shaking her head as if to disagree with me but I didn’t let her disagreement stop me. “Yeah, I guess I am optimistic but I’ve learned, you can either be bitter or you can be better.” I wanted to add, but didn’t, and it doesn’t look like your way is actually working for you.

My next question sent her on another tangent. I asked her if she prayed. She looked a bit confused. “What?”  I rephrased my question. “Do you pray at all?”

Whew, that turned on another faucet! 🙂 “Yes, I pray every night and I hold my rosary beads or else I have very bad dreams.”

I didn’t bring up a thing about the beads, but what did come out was nothing short of Holy Spirit inspired and it went something like this: “Oftentimes when we’re going through something that looks and feels horrible, we can’t see His hand let alone feel His love for us so our tendency is to blame Him instead of find Him, but He’s there. Invite Him into every part of this. He didn’t make this bad thing happen to your husband but He can bring something beautiful out of it, if you will let Him.”

I looked up to see her eyes filling up and she was quiet.

“Have you asked Him to help you lose weight?” She looked at me as though I were crazy so I just continued. “He cares about all that concerns you. This didn’t happen to punish you.”

Her tears trickled down and she wiped them away. I stood up and gave her a hug, and my friend followed and hugged her, too. I asked her to stay in touch and told her we’d be praying for her and her husband.

The cool thing about that divine appointment was the lady who walked into Starbucks, without a smile, heavy-laden and discouraged, walked out of Starbucks with a smile and some different thoughts in her heart! I really don’t believe in coincidences but I do believe in God-incidences. 🙂

So I think if we could have coffee with Him and we were to ask Him that question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”, I think one of His answers would be something like this: Many times you won’t understand why you’re going through what you’re going through, but if you invite Me into it, I promise to help you through it and when we get to the other side, whether circumstances have changed or not, you will like what has changed in you.”

I’m thinking we’d be a whole lot less battered and bruised physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Join me tomorrow for another “Why do bad things happen to good people?” scenario from another divine appointment. 🙂

Love and smiles,

Evinda

 

If I could have coffee with God . . . From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power, and welcome back to this series. I have to tell you, this is a series that is really close to my heart and inspired by my love for Him and my longing to one day be with Him in eternity. Grab your coffee and let’s go to that quiet place to ask Him a very personal question.

I love Saturday mornings because usually, my husband and I get to sit and have coffee and talk, not about anything in particular, but just things in general. It’s a great time of connecting for us and our two four-legged kids are right there with us. 🙂 Well, just this past Saturday, you know, the day we were all supposed to be raptured ( 🙂 ), I was thinking about this series and I asked George, “So if you could have coffee with God, what would you ask him?”

He didn’t hesitate at all. “Will You take me back with You?”

I looked over at him and gave him one of my looks. “Come on, honey. If you were having coffee with Him, you’d already be in His presence, so what would you ask Him?”

His words changed but the meaning of his answer didn’t change in the least. “When can I come home?”

I started to object again, and then I swallowed the words I was going to say for a couple of reasons. One was I didn’t want to minimize whatever emotions he might have been feeling at that moment, and another is because I understand exactly what he means.

As we go out into the world with the intention to offer encouragement and reach out to others, the more often we come face to face with some ugly truths. One of the biggest ones is that being God-centered and God-focused is not only hard to be, and hard to find in others, but definitely not popular in our world today, but we must remember this truth: that we are in this world, not of this world. John 18:36 tells us that His kingdom is not of this world and I want to be part of His kingdom, not this one!

Everywhere we turn, flesh beckons us away from our spiritual self, away from our convictions, threatening to sweep us along with the rest of the world so we look just like everyone else.

We’ve become so dependent on so many things other than Him and while I don’t believe that these comforts of life that we enjoy are bad, I do believe they have distracted us from our dependence on our Creator. The less dependent we become on Him, the more dependent we are on self. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a pretty picture.

Let me paraphrase an email that I just received to illustrate my point. One evening, a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events and he asked her what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general. Let me stop there. Shootings in school were NEVER a part of my conversations growing up but let’s continue with this true story.

Grandma replied, “Well, I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Zerox machines, contact lenses, and there were no credit cards or laser beams. Man had not invented air conditioners, dishwashers and clothes dryers. Man hadn’t yet walked on the moon and we never heard of FM radios, let alone CD’s, processed food and the like.”

How old is she, the grandson silently wondered.

Grandma continued. “I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out, and the term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam. Gas was only 11 cents a gallon and you could buy a new Ford Coupe for only $600 but then, who could afford one?”

She continued to look at her grandson with eyes of love. “In my day,” she continued, “grass was mowed, coke was a cold drink, pot was something your mom cooked in and Aids were helpers in the principal’s office. Hardware was found in a hardware store, and software wasn’t even a word. We were the last generation to actually believe that  a lady needed a husband to have a baby.” She shook her head in silent sadness, lost in her own trance while the grandson continued to listen, amazed by all the facts that she was sharing with him.

“No wonder people call us ‘old and confused.’” She chuckled and looked at her grandson who was not laughing in the least.

“How old are you?” he asked incredulously, not being able to hold it any longer.

She didn’t hesitate a second: “I’m just 59, my dear, just 59.”

See what I mean, life is moving at such a fast pace and the older we get the faster it goes, but that’s not even the problem. It’s just that the more things we invent and create the less dependent upon our Creator that His creation becomes.

So I guess I wouldn’t mind asking Him when He’s taking me, but I think I know what He would tell me. I think He would remind you and me that though we are in this world, we must not conform to become of this world. I think He would also tell us that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few, and that I must continue to fight the good fight and encourage one heart at a time. I think He would also tell you and me to not lose heart for He has already overcome the world with all its inventions.

Be encouraged,

Evinda

 

 

 

 

P.S. Would you all join me in praying for the people of Joplin, MO. who have suffered a horrible tornado that has taken the lives of 116 and that number is still rising, destroyed a hospital and they are still trying to find the majority of the patients, and may we all cling to Romans 8:28 on their behalf.

P.S.S. After watching a five-minute preview online for The Bachelorette, I have decided that I will NOT be doing a weekly blog on it, but may interject one every now and then. 🙂

Are you mad at God? From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for coming by. I thought we’d take a break from the novel excerpts because I wanted to connect with you personally by sharing something I witnessed on Easter/Resurrection Sunday. It was so powerful that it really made me think and it’s another opportunity to be transparent with you. Grab your coffee and come on in.

This past Easter/Resurrection Sunday was really different for George and me and in some ways, very difficult. Since we do not have a home church at this time, we decided to visit our former church in Claremont, the church where we met, and then go on and visit my son and daughter-in-law at their church in West Covina.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of our old church, we saw people waving, obviously excited to see us. It warmed our hearts and at the same time, it resonated with the importance of family/community and a home church. We spent the first half hour hugging on people we haven’t seen in years and then we went inside. Worship was absolutely anointed – Jake from Jesus Culture led it – and it really prepared the hearts for what he had to say at the end of an altar call.

As an aside, it was the pastor’s son up there doing the altar call and a mini message. I was so encouraged to realize that the church of tomorrow is gonna be okay! 🙂

So after two people came forward for the altar call, and Josh was winding it up, Jake starts to speak. This is what he had to say: “Okay, so we just did an altar call, and we only have ten more minutes together so I want to get real with you. First of all, your body is an altar, so congratulations.”

Well, I for one had never heard that, but I was listening.

He goes on. “I know there are people out there saying ‘I don’t want to recommit my life, or know this Jesus guy because I’m mad at Him. I’m ticked off and I just don’t understand how this God thing works.”

He became quiet for a few seconds. “But you know what? You’re here, so you must believe something. It’s no accident that you’re here.”

I so swear you could have heard a pin drop but my teardrops were probably louder. I could feel my friend that I had invited tense up and I began praying for her because I knew he was describing exactly what she was feeling.

He continued. “It’s okay if you’re mad. Do you remember the words cried out by David and then later echoed by Jesus on the cross, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ So you see, even Jesus cried out in frustration and hurt, echoing the words of David who had said exactly the same thing years before Him. So instead of calling you up here for an altar call, why don’t you just stand as an altar and say, ‘God, I’m mad at you, but I’m not giving up. I don’t understand what you’re doing in my life, or with my life, but I’m here and I’m not giving up’.”

By this time, the tears are coming faster than I can wipe them because not only did my friend stand up, but my husband stood up, too. Oh, when someone you love becomes vulnerable like that, it just does something, kind of un-clogs your own heart and tears become streams of water. I can’t even begin to describe how deep his hurt cut into my own heart.

See, we’ve been praying and fasting for a couple of situations for quite some time now, and there doesn’t seem to be any changes It’s painful to watch. To top it off, we have never been without a church home, and it has been especially hard on my guy. Don’t get me wrong; his faith is as strong as ever. He just has a lot of questions and his heart is hurting. And on Resurrection Sunday, he learned it was okay to express his frustration and hurt with God. It was so freeing because to acknowledge hurt is the first step to letting it go! 🙂

There is no such thing as a perfect church – otherwise I couldn’t attend 🙂 – and we must try to remember that Godly people do ungodly things, but church is family and family is one of the most vital necessary components for our emotional and spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is what helps us through those times when we are mad at God and/or we just don’t understand what the heck He’s doing with and in our lives.

So if you’re not rooted in a home church, may I encourage you to do so, and would you pray that we would land in one soon, too?

Have an amazing weekend

Evinda