Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Martyr Making

Some would say that their purpose was to promote fear.  Lots of people are afraid, and living in fear.  Luke 12:4 tells us to look at it differently. 

I can't live my life like that.  Each moment is too precious.  Besides, Luke 12:25 says 

There is no terrorist group, no enemy that can steal the love of Christ from me.  I can lay it down,but no power on Earth, above or below it can take it from me.  I will not fear, but I will be vigilant. I need to be aware that my life can be required of me at any time.  Luke 12:39 tells us:  

 "Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Having survived my cardiac arrest, I am acutely aware of the FACT that this day could be my last, and that I need to hold Christ close.  I should honor Him in all I do. When I fail, I need to admit it, and reconcile myself to Him quickly.  I need to look at my life and decide if someone would have to ASK me if I'm a Christian, or if they would just KNOW.   

There are two good things that have come from these terrible actions.  

1. There have been hundreds of new Christian martyrs created.  Because they would not deny Christ in this life, they can now be joined to Him in his death and resurrection.  We Catholic types believe this to mean that they are now one with God through Christ, and can intercede on our behalf.  Which brings us to number 2. 

2.  Many people are asking God to intercede.  They're talking to God.  They're thinking about God.  They're considering God.  I believe others are asking themselves the same questions I am pondering.  Would I swear an oath to save my life? An oath I don't believe?  Would I willingly walk over to the Christian side of the room knowing I would die a martyr's death? I hope I never find out, but I have great respect and admiration for those Syrian and Kenyan (and plenty of other) brothers and sisters in Christ who did just that.  

I choose Christ.  He chose me first. He loves me enough that He died for me, and I give my life to Him every day.  Leaving this life would only be loss to those who would miss me.  For me, it is gaining Heaven, and unity with my beloved Savior. 

I choose Love over hate every single time.     


Monday, November 9, 2015



Empathy is different than sympathy.  Sympathy is when you feel bad for someone because you have felt the pain they are going through, and you have some level of pity for that person.  Empathy is understanding how they may feel, even if you've never experienced the same thing.  Empathy is a wonderful gift, and it can take a million different forms.

I have seen parents using empathy with their Kindergarten students.  I have seen them take off their child's coat and hang it up. They empty the child's backpack for them and tie their shoes or help them take off their boots and change into their shoes. They don't want their child to need or lack for anything, so they do it all for them.  I've seen parents physically carry their children as they're leaving school, because they love them and want good things for them.

I couldn't agree more.  I also couldn't disagree more.

Don't get me wrong, I love those kids, and I want every good thing for them, too.  But that's just the point.  I want it FOR THEM!  I want them to get to feel the pride and confidence that comes from knowing how to zip your own coat.  I want them to be the kid the other kids ask for help because they DO know how to open their own snack. I want them to believe they are strong and capable, and a valued member of our classroom, because they ARE an important member of their class. I want them to know they are capable of amazing things.  I want them to believe that the only reason they don't know how to do things is because they haven't mastered them yet, and not that those things are too hard, or they aren't smart (or strong) enough. I understand their struggle.  I also understand the good that can come from it. I treasure the moment when a child figures out that they can string together the sounds that letters make, and it creates a WORD! It is the monumental occasion in which Daddy's baby girl or Mama's little man has become.............A READER!!!

Just like Mom and Dad, our kids become stronger because they have struggled.  They have taken the time to practice and fail and make mistakes, and get better and better at things.  When we do everything for kids we tell them that we don't believe they can do them.  We may be telling them that we don't have time to teach them, or we can't wait while they try. Sometimes this is true.  As a mother of 7, I can tell you that there are times when I just need to tie the dad-gum shoes for you, or you can work on it in the car on the way to church.

However, we might accidentally be telling them that they are not worth our time.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

I understand, and I hope they never feel that way.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thank you, Grandma Gibson.

Every Sunday we drive past Grandma Gibson's house on the way home from church.  You can't miss it, really. It looks like a used car lot with so many vehicles parked up in the lawn.  You just know that all the aunts, uncles and cousins are in there, enjoying some tasty kind of dinner. They're probably playing cards, or telling stories, cheering for their favorite football team, or just enjoying each other's company.  I don't know that I've ever met "Grandma Gibson" in person, but she has given me and our entire community a beautiful gift. She gave us her family, but first, she filled them with her love.

It seems like everyone is either related to Grandma Gibson or knows the myriad of wonderful people who are. Her family is made of Gibsons and Eyres and Bordens who keep the community looking nice, take care of sick people, and are easily recognizable by that classic Gibson smile. They drive buses and keep kids safe and the school looking good.  They are just genuinely nice people.  I believe she must have made them that way. This is the way she looked at them.  You can feel the love.

Grandma Gibson was surely the glue that held the family together, and with her passing, I'm afraid I might have to take a different route home.  It makes me sad to think the cars might not be there.  I hope they choose to still get together.  I hope they keep her so close to their hearts that they look for her smile and her love in each other. I hope they find that little spark of her in each other, and honor her by continuing to show her love and spunk to the one who never met her.  I know they will continue to be the loving people she has encouraged them to be.  They are truly a gift.  

Thank you, Grandma Gibson, for being the sweet little lady they all came to see. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of Sunday dinners... and Family.