Ponderins: Unpublished March 2011

(For a little while, I worked as a journalist with my hometown newspaper. Weekly, I wrote a column entitled ‘Ponderins’, which challenged people to think about certain things. The following piece was submitted to the editor at the end of my stint as a journalist & was never published.)

Memaw isn’t a Knox County native, but she would surely tell you that this is home. Last week, my Memaw would suffer a fall that would send her to a local hospital.
Her many children and grandchildren and some great-grandchildren would gather at the hospital, torn by the waves of progress and set backs.
At one point, one of my Aunt’s aid, “times like this is when families ought to be closer”.
Reality is, that families are never really like what we think they ought to be. If we have a small family, we say they ought to be big. If they are too tightly knit, we say that they ought to have some distance.
We complain about what they are and wish for what they ought to be.
Family is so precious. You can make more friends, and you can find new love. Family once gone is simply gone.
It is never easy in families. They will fued, argue, and say hurtful things. Family relationships are like any other relationship – they involve flawed people.
Here are some things on family for ya’ll to ponder on this week:
(1) Don’t let illness or death be the only time you call them or to go see them. And don’t just wait for holidays either.
(2) Allow your family the kind of leaveway that you grant your friends. If nothing else, we should be just as willing if not more to forgive our family.
(3) Say ‘I love you’ every time you see them. You never know when it might be the last time.

There are things that I would like my family to be, but I am content that they are just my family: Johnsons, Mills, Lowes and Brocks.
I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on what families ought to be.

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I QUIT!

Queen of Drama

I was heavily in love with the arts in High School. I was involved with Choir, Visual Arts & Theater Arts. Although I didn’t excel at any of them, I loved being a part of them. For all the love I had for them (and yes, still do), I would never have wanted *THAT* title: Drama Queen.

More than oft over the past 15 years of my life, though, that is exactly what I have been labeled. A Drama Queen. Harsh. And more times than not, the people calling me that have been those closest to me. Maybe – there is a bit of truth to it.

Drama Queen is defined as “Someone who turns something unimportant into a major deal. Someone who blows things way out of proportion when ever the chance is given,” (Urbandictionary.com).

Verdict: 

Guilty. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but yes I have been that. Too often and too many times I have taken too many of the little things in my world and made them into big things. I have done that sometimes by complaining; I have done that sometimes by lying – embellishing the problem; I have also done this by putting private matters out into the public (which has been an even bigger problem since I joined Facebook in 2005. )

I have been a Drama Queen.

I’d like to defend myself by telling you about the loneliness of a preteen girl or about the secrets I had to keep from my parents & sister. But those are only excuses. I know and admit that all-in-all, despite of whatever rational I’d like to slap on it, my actions – my being a Drama Queen- was my own choice & my own fault.

The Mighty will Fall

I want to resign my crown. I do not want to bare that title any longer. I want to be a woman that is simply content with being who she is, imperfections & all. I want to lay down my desires to want to feel significant or wanted or loved.

I am significant. Those three words are probably ones I have never said nor written about myself. But they are true. I am significant. Maybe not to the World. Maybe not even to the state of KY or the small county that I live in. I may not even be significant to the people who live on the same bustling street that I do. I am significant. Not because of anything great I have or will ever do. I am significant because I am me. God only made one of me (thank Heavens!). God made me to be me, not to try to live like someone else. I am significant because GOD loves me, I have been forgiven of my many many innumerable sins, & as long as I draw a breath – I will bare significance because I belong to GOD.

So, here- I don’t want this title. I don’t have to be showy. I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to wave my arms (physically or verbally) to gain attention. The King of Glory sees me. And that is enough for me.

Surviving the Great Depths of Doubt

I doubt God sometimes. I’m sure that you never do. I’m sure that you never think to yourself, “God, this just doesn’t make sense to me”. I admit, though, I doubt God sometimes. Maybe that is a bold statement from a ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ & a someone who grew up inside a church house. After all, being in church means that you have it all together, right?? Being a Christian means that everything is FINE, right???

Wrong.

Know You are Drowning & How to Start Swimming Again

To fix a problem, admit there is one. The adiage is true of modern therapy as well as it is for the Christian. You need to admit that you are indeed beginning to sink (Or have already sunk & are drowning) neath the waves of doubt.

If you are questioning God’s Word, that is a #1 sign. This, of course, would be hard to know if you don’t read & know GOD’s Word. If you aren’t reading it, do it. Even when you don’t feel like it, read God’s Word. When your life is too busy that you have to schedule your breathes, take time to read God’s Word. There are many wonderful websites & Apps to help with this, some of which I will link at the end of this post. The main thing is, Read God’s Word. Not a verse here or there, but truly read it. Use your phone, use your ipad, use your computer, use your leather bound copy that your Uncle Johnny gave you. Find what works for you & do it.

My second piece of advice is to Keep going to Church. It is easy to stop going. We can excuse it with a thousand reasons: tiredness, business, busy-ness, or just plain laziness.  “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another;and all the more as you see the day drawing near,” states Hebrews 10:25 (NASB). When we are doubting, we need to HEAR the Word of God (“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”, Romans 10:17) We need to be with fellow believers that can encourage us, pray for us and with us.

Which Brings me to My Next Point: Don’t Isolate. There are moments of doubt for many Christians. There are 5 verses in the New Testament where Jesus chastises the disciples for being of “little faith” (Matthew 6:30, Matthew 8:26, Matthew 14:31, Matthew 16:8, & Luke 12:28). They Doubted, too. The Disciples doubted, yet they still gathered together because they knew they needed one another. We are no different. We need our sisters & brothers in Christ every day but perhaps more so when we are going through our valleys of doubt. Reach out to a Pastor, Church Leader, Christian Counselor, a member of your Small Group, or just anyone that you trust inside the church you attend.

Doubt vs. God

Your feelings of doubt do not mean that God has stopped loving you or that He has turned His back to you. This is why I strongly encourage you toward real Bible reading daily. Encouraging Verses are fantastic, but reading a chapter or more will renew you. God’s Word tells us that GOD is crazy in love with us & also that HE is always with us. Read it for yourself. Attend Church & Reach Out. You can survive the Depths of Doubt & walk out on drier ground.

Recommended LINKS:

Blue Letter Bible

One Place

RBC Ministries

Precepts Austin – Bible Study Tools