Month: May 2017

13 Reasons to Live: Worth Holding On To

Is life worth living? This question haunts the most honest of souls. When shrouds of darkness roll in, it’s tempting to wonder whether it’s worth fighting for another breath.

13 Reasons Why deals with the aftermath of the death of someone who came to believe her life was not worth living. And it deals with the before-math—-the events that brought her to this sad conclusion. The screen adaptation of the story has stirred up controversy, with some saying it will awaken viewers to the plight of those considering suicide, and others saying it may inadvertently glamorize the idea.

In the midst of the battle of words, we overlook the sheer hopelessness at the core of the death-set heart. Convinced the darkness of earth outweighs the light, the desperate are driven to pursue death, believing it their only escape from our sin-sick world. But what if instead we set before our eyes a litany of reasons to live, instead of a recitation of reasons to die?

While we could use the evil of the world to deny purpose for life, what about the good? A history of suffering men and women found enough good in this world to keep living, to keep moving forward. Would we be here now, if not?

Men and women from the beginning of time lived through famine, sickness, plague, holocaust, war, slavery, death, and more. And yet the common theme is each found a reason to persevere. Must not the good outweigh the evil, if generation upon generation has survived through the deepest of hells?

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller, herself suffering incredible loss, spoke these words of truth. If suffering can be overcome, and is overcome, and has been overcome through all of history, there must be a reason. There must be something greater. Something worth living for.

In the midst of darkness, on the precipice of battle, Samwise Gamgee spoke these words to his friend Frodo. Though spoken in the realm of fiction, they ring of truth in our non-fiction world of suffering: “By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories…the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer…Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding onto something…that there’s some good in this world…and it’s worth fighting for.”

My prayer for you is that you find that something worth holding onto. Cling to it through all the darkness that is and that lies ahead. And that you come to see this shadow is a passing thing. In the end, light will always prevail.

Photo Credit: Free photo Texture Cave Structure Drain Background Stone – Max Pixel

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Everything in its Season

Blog_PathwayI’ve never asked the sun to shine, but still it does
I’ve never asked for rainy skies, yet still they come

I’ve never asked the wind to blow
I’ve never asked for winter snow
I’ve never asked for evening stars but still, they are

I’ve never asked for spring’s relief, yet seasons turn
I’ve never asked for summer heat, and still it burns

I’ve never asked for falling leaves
I’ve never asked for forest trees
I’ve never asked for flowers to grow, but Lord—You know

Everything comes in its season
Governed by power unseen
Change comes to our lives for a reason
Revealed only in eternity

Our lives are an intricate tapestry
Woven with perfect design
Every joy, every pain writes our destiny
Born with love from the dawn of time

You know every need, and You meet it
Before we can whisper a prayer
You’re working although we can’t see it
Your purpose will one day be clear

(Originally posted by Jen on the Tears of Joy Blog)

The Law of Spring

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New life will always prevail over death. It’s the law of spring.

Photo Credit: Spring – Free images on Pixabay

The Flowers Still Bloom

Design_FlowerBreakingThroughSpring came as a welcome gift this year. Though it’s always been a miraculous season, something was different when it finally broke through this time around. Maybe the harsh winter had stamped out any assurance that warmth would prevail and new life spring forth as promised—the relentless snow and lingering cold freezing out all hope. Or maybe it was something more.

While it’s unreasonable to question if spring will come, there is always the matter of when…and how long we’ll have to endure before it does come. When the cultural climate is stuck on winter, it seems all the more miraculous that spring manages to show up in the midst. How—in the soil of persistent war, conflict, violence, and suffering, do the trees still grow and the flowers still bloom?

The season of life may be overshadowed by the death that is winter, but it is never overcome. In fact, death is what prepares the soil for life. If there were no winter, spring would never come in its fullness of glory. And God has given a promise that if we press on to know him in the midst of our suffering, he will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.

All that surrounds may steal our hope and drain our life. The constant bad news breeds depression, doubt, and sheer exhaustion. But the good news is…the flowers still bloom. Spring still comes. It can’t be hindered. New life will always prevail over death. It’s the law of spring.

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and he will come to us like the rain—the spring rain that waters the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)

These Thorns

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Answered prayers are most often wrought in pain and tears.

Source: The Thorns of Motherhood

Photo Credit: Free stock photo: Thorns, Spur, Close, Thorn – Free Image on …

Important Things: A Tribute

Blog_KidHoldingFlowersI’ve heard horror stories of families broken up over material possessions when it came time for their parents to move on and let go of their stuff. Sibling relationships, irreparably damaged, because they could not agree upon who should get what thing. Once treasured bonds permanently broken on account of greed and selfishness.

My parents recently moved from their home to a small apartment. In the process, they released many things that had been in the family for years. Over the weeks following, my sisters and I worked together to sort through furniture, décor, and other items. We donated many things to charity, sold others at a garage sale, and kept the most treasured things among ourselves. I can say with gratitude that not once did we fight over who should get what. And that says a lot about my parents.

DSCN7538_2055The most sentimental of items were a decorative plate with the phrase “love is the little things you do” etched beneath a picture of a girl passing a flower to her sister, and a plastic bowl with a picture of a mama bunny tucking her baby bunny in bed. These treasures symbolize what I most value about my mom. They remind me of those things in her character I want to emulate.

My mom has always been quiet and gentle. When I was little, my favorite thing was cuddling in her lap and listening to her heartbeat. She’s a person who loves deeply, and it’s always been evident in her actions. Kind words, thoughtful gifts, and tender hugs have always been her way of communicating her love to us. She’s always been selfless and generous, and she’s passed that on to us.

DSCN7541_2056Among the many things I’ve learned from my mom is that life is not measured in the amount of things we possess, but in the degree of love we offer. Her life has been an offering to us. That’s why a simple piece of art depicting true love and a little bowl representing the nurturing heart of a mother so accurately represent who my mom is. Love is the little things you do. It’s the only worthy investment. It’s the only thing that will outlast us. And it will outlive every earthly possession.

P.S. Mom, if you’re reading this…I hope there aren’t any typos because good “grammer” is something else you passed down to us.

Photo Credit: Hand, Giving – Free images on Pixabay

Every Tear

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Every tear sowed waters the ground for joy to spring forth.

Source: The Painful Side of Mother’s Day

Photo Credit: Vintage Poppy Flower In Rain Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures