Pain in My Heart

A forty-three year old doctor, wife and mother of two, lost her battle to cancer.  I didn’t know her but I know her husband, and not all that well, I might add.  When I got the news, I cried as I drove across town.  I was embarrassed that I was so emotional, but I was truly sad.  Sad for him, sad for the kids, sad for the ache that any loving person has in their hearts when they go through such struggles.

Last night as my book study group shared their prayer requests, more than half had to do with dying and illness.  It was the first time in 16-weeks that we had such heavy issues affecting so many of us.

I’ve been thinking about how some people can’t afford medical care.  It took me back to the days when my mom was in the hospital.  My eyes were opened to the fact that some visitors had to use public transportation or walk to get there, others drove but were strained by the parking fee, and some couldn’t afford to eat in the cafeteria.  What about the ones who live too far away to drive and just don’t have the money to make the trip?  I can’t imagine not being able to see my loved one and just sit by their side.  I thought that was bad until I realized that some can’t even get treatment.

I think about the children who may have a cold and could use pain reliever – or have something worse -, but treatment is just not available to them.  Or, what it’s like to be the parent standing by, worrying and feeling inadequate because you can’t provide.  Or maybe a husband of a woman who’s very ill and they simply can’t afford help.  I don’t want to know what it’s like to have a loved one in pain and not be able to get the medical attention and prescription needed.

Some people cheat the system and in essence steal other people’s opportunities for assistance.  People who really need it.

The homeless and impoverished are humans.  They are mothers, daughters, sister, and friends, just like you and me.  Not everyone is created with a heart to minister to them, and that’s okay.  But what saddens me is when their dignity is stolen, they are disrespected and treated like second class citizens.

8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

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Judgment is Contagious

I’ve been guilty of analyzing situations and people.  In other words, I’ve been guilty of judging – many times over.  We’re not born with a judgment button that gets turned out.  We learn to judge by observing our family, friends and those around us. What we see on TV probably helps promote it, too.

Sometimes when judgment is passed, humor is found – at someone else’s expense.  Other times judgment feeds pride because credit is given to self for knowing better and being better than the next.  Judgment can also result in pity or sorrow because the “judge” feels like the other person is missing out on something, being wronged/hurt or too ignorant to even realize what’s going on.

Our judgment is justified because sufficient analysis has been performed; various angles have been considered and scenarios contemplated.  Knowledge gained from personal experiences, books and seminars have been applied.  Obviously we know better than the person we’re judging – or anyone else for that matter.

I know it’s common to judge and have opinions, but I was floored when I heard someone frown upon a friend for electing not to openly share the status of his loved one’s health or his feelings about it.  The “judge” was actually upset that he wasn’t looped in about this personal matter and couldn’t seem to grasp that the decision wasn’t personal.  His friend was simply dealing with things in the best way he knows how and in a way that allows him to live versus remaining stuck in a rut because he was focused on the circumstance he was faced with.

Hanging out with like-minded people, probably means you’re living in the dark.  You may never know you’re guilty of judging and that judging is not okay.  It takes a good, hard look in the mirror to recognize that fault – or a really good friend to point it out.  One way to tell that you’ve appointed yourself “judge” is to consider what’s coming out of your mouth.  If you’re frequently talking about other people and it’s not praise, it’s likely you’ve got judging going on.  If you find yourself irritated by other people, look around for the gavel you’ve been wielding.

Words speak life and death.

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Things We Say But Don’t Follow or Believe

Don’t these sound familiar?

  • Treat people the way you would want to be treated.
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
  • Don’t judge others.
  • Look in the mirror before you speak.
  • Think positively.
  • Be optimistic.
  • Have faith.
  • When one door closes, another one opens.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Work doesn’t define who you are.
I definitely have my share of bad days, disappointments, and hurts.  I try my best not to let my feelings and circumstances affect those around me.  After all I’ve been through, I’ve finally learned that sometimes people are so overwhelmed or stuck in bondage that they react badly.  I know that we can never really understand what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.  We may have experienced similar situations, but they are never identical.  Nuances in the circumstances, different personalities, the baggage of people’s pasts, etc. all play factors and are the contributors to being unique.  
I want to be accepting of others and compassionate.  I don’t want to judge or criticize.  I want to be responsible for more acts of kindness and to exude so much love it becomes infectious.  I know I’ll never nail it down perfectly, but life whizzes by and you can’t get it back, so I’m going to keep trying my best.
I bet life and the world would be different if we knew how many days we had left to live.
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Motor Mouth

I can’t keep up with all the things my almost-three year old says.  The highlights of a couple of hours with her…

“You made this traffic, Mom!”   “Sweet Pea, the cars are driving slow that’s why there’s traffic.  It’s not my fault.”  “It’s your fault, Mom!  You did it.”

“Dad! Kyle’s not sharing pizza!”  (Is this starting already?!  And over food!)

“I need to practice.” (Wearing her cowboy hat and yelling yee haw!)

“Kyle, your stomach hurts? “(He mentioned that 2-hours ago and only she remembered.)

“Don’t you want to write aunty a letter, too?”  “Oh well, too bad”, she said.

“I smell something.  It smells like…doo doo!”

“You smell good, Sweet Pea.”  “Dad smells stinky!”, she exclaims.

“Your nose is big, Mom.”  (I remember pointing out my mom’s flaws.  This is payback.)

“So silly!”

“Me, three!”

“Mommy, Daddy, Kyle, and Brooke. Home safely.  Amen!”

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Mom’s Tantrum

But I knew him first, she declared!  Mom was ticked that I wouldn’t bring Tony to play cards at her house.  She wanted to make sure there was no question in my mind – she met him before I did and she wasn’t a stranger to him.  Geez Louise.  I haven’t been on a date in forever and now my sick mother is having a tantrum because she wants to hang out with the nurse that helped her recover.  That wasn’t like her.  I wanted to fold and let her win, but I couldn’t.  I wanted to be fair to Tony.  It would be too tempting to keep dating him if Mom fell in love with him, even if I didn’t like him.

At least I filled her in on what I learned from the date.  He’s a nice guy, has a son from a prior marriage, lives with his parents about 25 miles away, drives a fairly new and clean truck, has a good sense of humor.  That would have to be enough for now.  He was nervously chattering away and although I listened intently, I didn’t retain it all.

I wondered why he told me about his son on the first date.  But then again, why did I tell him that I just got out of an ugly breakup and am emotionally high maintenance.





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She Makes Me Smile

As we drove along the highway, my 3-year old yells, “Hey, birds!  Cars are dangerous.  Be careful!  God loves you.”  That was enough to make my day.

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Get a Hold of that Reaction!

Uncle needed a ride to his post-op appointment but I had an important meeting to attend at work. Fortunately my husband was off and said he’d drive him.  Rather than secretly think about how I wanted things to work out, I decided to speak up and tell my husband that I’d like him to wait during the appointment and bring my Uncle back home.

YES!  He said he’d do the round trip.  He chose to help me and the family over his project.

I decided to pick up lunch as a treat.  Well, my husband didn’t read his text message properly and assumed that I was saying we’d all eat lunch together.  Ugh, I thought.  I have work to do, calls to make for the church, donations to organize for the homeless ministry and today is my last day of vacation.  Why does he always make these assumptions?

That’s when, in my mind, I saw my Uncle sitting alone eating lunch and I realized he probably wasn’t going anywhere for a couple of days – so he’d be home alone.  I bet my husband thought I planned for us to have lunch together to keep Uncle company.  I regret, I wasn’t being that thoughtful today.

Then I noticed that when our renovation project started, I observed my husband being too focused on the project and less so what was going on around him.  That’s no longer the case.  He made time to take us to dinner and hang out with our daughter.  And now, for the past two days, he’s made time for my Uncle, which by extension is also helping me.

All I can say is thank GOD for this revelation because I was irritated with my husband.  My natural reaction was to feel like he inconvenienced me and it was his fault that I gave him my last $20 and had to stop at the ATM, was now caught in the rain picking up the food, and had to make an extra stop for drinks.  It was his fault I was painfully aware of the time and it ticking away.

What an icky place to be.  Whew!  It was only for a moment and then I came back to “As you may be aware, people who constantly react are never really free.  Someone else is always in control, determining how they will feel and behave.”  (Love Life for Every Married Couple)

Marriage – any relationship for that matter – takes work.









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