Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Blinded By The Log~ November 4, 2013

Tomorrow is election day and can I just say how glad I will be when it’s all over!  I have had about all the “he said, she said”, slanderous, malicious, back-biting campaigns I can take!

Why is it that politicians ads focus more on what the other guys did wrong instead of what they themselves propose to do right?  I find it rather frustrating that they are spending exorbitant amounts of money tearing each other down all the while one of our countries biggest issues is debt.  Does anyone else take issue with this?

Show me the guy (or gal) that runs an honest campaign, focusing solely on their morals and intentions if elected and that’s the one who gets my vote.

In the last couple of weeks, it’s gotten to where every other ad on television is politically based.  Having it been so in-your-face, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel to campaigns and life right where we’re at.

How many of you have ever dealt with a “politician” in your life?  You know the type.  Someone who uses the vast majority of their time and energy putting the focus on what everyone else around them is doing wrong so that hopefully no one will notice their own blunders.  I would venture to say you have all been either on the receiving end of this sort of behavior…or you have even been the guilty party a time or two (gasp)!

I find that people are more receptive to what I have to say when I use my own personal experiences as an example.  Today I’m turning the tables….I’m going to show you how I’ve been the ugly politician.

My marriage has had it’s fair share of ups and downs (relax honey, I’m not airing our dirty laundry).  We have argued, hurt one another’s feelings and  neglected the other’s needs.  In the midst of one our more recent valleys, I found myself making a list of everything he did wrong.  It was locked away in my mind, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.  All of my thoughts were centered around his short-comings.  My attitude and actions towards him were reflective of this list that scrolled through my mind on repeat.  Not once did I pause to think of my role in the problem.  I justified my behavior thinking that surely everyone would see it my way if I were to point out all his flaws, so to speak.  Then one day it hit me.  It was if the Holy Spirit gently asked me, “what about you?”

You see, I was behaving just like the politicians that get on my last nerve.  I was painting this hideous picture of my opponent, aka hubs, hoping that if I could keep the attention on all the wrong things he had done, no one would notice where I was falling short, myself included.  As I said, this battle was happening internally, but eventually it would have come out because what you say flows from what is in your heart (Luke 6:45).  I would have bad mouthed my partner in this life in hopes of gaining favor with those around us.

Maybe you can relate to this example and you’ve been the one dishing the dirt.  Or maybe you’ve encountered a “politician” in friendship, the workplace, or heaven forbid, church!  May I encourage you today?  When faced with someone bent on tearing you down, before you turn it into a full blown mud-slinging showdown, take pause and think of what personal demons they may be battling that is making them point the finger at you.  If you are like me and are doing the finger pointing, look inwards and perhaps you will find that you have some work you need to do and that other person isn’t so bad after all.

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye.’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your bother’s eye.”

(Matthew 7:2-5 NIV)

 

~My Lost Sheep~ October 14, 2013

Not too long ago I thought my baby girl was gone.

I had fallen asleep on the couch and when I woke, my husband had already gone to bed.  So I turned off the tv and headed downstairs.  I looked in on the little girls and realized very quickly that Bella was not in her bed.  It startled me, but I figured she had climbed into bed with her sister which she does rather often.  As I got closer, I could see that Emma was sleeping soundly…alone.  Now my heart was racing.  I checked under both beds, nothing.  I ran into our room and felt around my husband, hoping to find her curled up with her daddy.  Nada.

At this point, panic set in.  I shook my husband awake and informed him our baby was gone.  How bout that to wake you from a dead sleep?

I bolted back up the stairs, retracing my steps, checking every door and window along the way finding each one securely locked.  I flipped on every light in the house and made sure that the other children were all safe in their beds.  It brought me no comfort to find 4 sleeping peacefully because one was still nowhere to be found.

I could hear my husband downstairs checking every possible hiding place, including the dryer.  I rushed back through the dining room ready to call 911 when I caught a glimpse of a white blankie.  I hit my knees and looked under the table.  There was my little Bella, laying on her belly, booty in the air, out like a light.

As I scooped her up all I could do was thank God that she was ok.

After we got her settled back in her own bed, I was obviously wide awake.  Who could sleep after an episode like that?!  It occurred to me in the wee hours of the morning that during the frantic search, it mattered very little to me that my other kids were all ok.  All of my energy was focused on the one that was not.  That’s when a very familiar story came to mind.

“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

lost sheep

(Luke 15:3-7 NIV)

Just as I rejoiced more over finding my “lost sheep”, the heaven’s erupt with praise when a sinner finds their way to Jesus.  It’s not that I wasn’t thankful that my other kids were exactly where they were supposed to be, nor do the righteous escape the attention of our Lord.  But something unexplainable happens when the lost are found.  Feelings of relief, gratitude and exuberance flooded my heart that night.  And so it is every single time a child is found by the Father through the act of repentance.