The Best of Intentions

Have you ever done something with the best of intentions only to have it turn out very wrong? I have had that happen to me several times in my life.

I am a “fixer” by nature. When I see a loved one suffering, I feel compelled to do whatever I can to “fix” the problem. Unfortunately, some of my past efforts were not appreciated – especially by my two younger sisters who must have felt that I was being a busy-body, know-it-all, older sister.

Recently, I ventured into another one of my “good intentions”. My hubby LOVES dogs (he had three of them together at one time in his previous marriage) and he has wanted a dog for the past six years. Unfortunately, our rental homes did not allow dogs. But two years ago, we were finally able to buy our own home and he started looking at dog rescue shelter websites. He also started looking at Great Danes!! For a number of reasons, mainly health and finances, we were not able to follow through with a doggie adoption last year.

This past winter, my darling hubby has been having a real struggle with migraines, chronic fatigue and depression. In my love and concern for him, I asked if having a dog would help him cope and he said yes. I found a local ad for a smooth coat collie, named Lola, who had had a bit of a rough start in the beginning of her life and needed a new home. I made arrangements for a “meet and greet” and it was “like at first sight” between my hubby and Lola and she became the newest member of our household.

I had such high hopes for my latest “good intention”!

But – things did not turn out as I had planned. 😦

Lola, although good-natured and affectionate, was a HANDFUL,  to say the least! She needed constant watching or she would get into mischief. She had anxiety issues and kept jumping up on us and licking us until we were covered in dog slobber. And she was the canine embodiment of the ADHD child! We just couldn’t keep her busy enough.

To make matters worse, I was battling severe foot pain and my hubby was battling increased migraines. The added stress of a very needy dog was wreaking havoc with my mental and physical well-being. To say that I was getting grumpy would be putting it mildly!

So we came to the difficult decision to re-home Lola. Surprisingly to me, it was a very difficult decision. I didn’t realize that I had become so fond of Lola (she was really affectionate). I was filled with grief and spent the day weeping.  I also struggled with strong feelings of guilt. I felt like we had let Lola down. (Yes, I know that she is “just a dog” but dogs have feelings too! LOL) And I was very frustrated that yet again, another one of my good intentions had back-fired.

When we do something with the best of intentions and it backfires, it can cause us to have feelings of grief, guilt and frustration. It can also make us feel like we should never try to do anything “with the best of intentions” again.

But in God’s Word, the apostle Paul tells us just the opposite:

2Th 3:13 But you, brothers, do not be weary in well doing. 

Jesus was the prime example of doing good for others.

Act 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus was also the poster boy for how having good intentions can often blow up in your face. After all, he was unjustly accused, unjustly tried, unjustly tortured and unjustly crucified because of, and despite, his good intentions!

Isa 53:4, 5  Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed.

God tells us that we are to continue doing good, no matter the cost or the outcome.

1Pe 2:19 For this is a grace, if for conscience toward God anyone endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God.
1Pe 2:21 For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,

I think that carrying out good intentions must be a two step process – the heart feels and the head guides. My problem with my good intentions is that I often act using the heart only rather than using the head as well.  I need to learn to take that heart feeling to God and ask Him for His wisdom to guide me in that situation.

Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him. 

I need to listen to “that still, small voice” which is God’s holy spirit speaking to, and guiding, my holy spirit. If I follow His lead, then even if my good intentions don’t turn out as I had planned, at least I know that I have done all that I know to do and I will have peace.

As for Lola, she is doing very well in her new foster home where she has two other dogs to play with in a large, fenced yard.

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Jesus: Really Satisfies

I like how this was written.

Jonathan Camac

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Snickers have an awesome marketing team.

In one of their ads, an old man is attempting to pull off a big jump on his motorbike. Yes you heard me right. But the old dude is super confident about his chances. He thinks he has the jump covered. However, in a twist of events, old dude starts to lose control of his bike. He takes off from the jump but, you guessed it, he fails miserably. He face-plants into the ground.

Eventually a mate walks over and hands the old man a Snickers bar, because he “becomes a cranky old man when he’s hungry.” The old man angrily takes the bar, and after taking a bite, instantly morphs into a young man. He has become a new man. No longer hungry – he is back to his normal self and ready to hit the jump again. The commercial ends with their simple catch-line:

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A Lovely Day

Even in the midst of all the various struggles that I and my loved ones have been going through, I am still able to appreciate the blessings that God sends my way.

When my children were very small, we had a story book called Bialosky Bear. It was one of those “read-a-long” books that had a cassette tape that told the story while you looked at the pictures.

The only part of the story that I remember is when Bialosky went outside and noticed how nice it was and he began to sing, “It’s a lovely, lovely day”.

And that’s what today was for me – a lovely, lovely day.

It was somewhat foggy as I drove my hubby to work but the morning light coming through the fog made for some very interesting views, especially as it rose over the river.

It became sunny and quite mild for this time of year – I think it went up to at least 16*C – so I could dispense with the heavy winter coat – rather liberating!

I bought some new rubber boots today – black and red plaid – fun and cheerful. As I took them for a “test drive” around the neighbourhood enjoying the squelching sound they made in the mud,  I heard and saw several robins, quite a number of American goldfinches, and the male cardinals have begun singing their Spring song. AAHH – a little slice of heaven.

And my eye is finally starting to feel better!

So not all is doom and gloom in my world. Thank you God!

Blessings

Besieged

Psa 31:21 Blessed is Jehovah; for He has worked His mercy wondrously in a besieged city.

 

This past year has been filled with challenges, for both myself and for my loved ones. It has often felt like I was living in Minas Tirith during the attack by the Morgul orcs of Mordor. (Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings)

1Ki 20:1 And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together. And thirty-two kings were with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and laid siege to Samaria, and warred against it. 

My darling hubby suffered so many migraines that he used up all his sick days and holidays and then had to miss work so paycheques shrunk.

Our finances were stretched to the limit. We barely lived paycheque to paycheque, and only by the grace of God alone.

I have battled very painful inflamed sacroiliac joints in my lower spine, plantar fasciitis in my foot , a damaged nerve in my heel, and I am now dealing with inflammation in my eye which has severely affected my vision.

Both my hubby and I have been fighting fatigue, anxiety and depression.

Because of financial difficulties, my oldest son has had to move his family in with his mother-in-law. The ensuing stress has caused him to have a mental crisis. Now he is dealing with his wife and daughter having to live two hours away. That little girl is the light of his life.

My youngest son bought his first house last summer but two weeks later he was injured at work. He has been off work ever since and has had to have surgery and physiotherapy. He has since found out that more damage was done than originally thought and has to undergo more surgery. He also has a baby daughter.

My mother has been experiencing severe pain in her spine and is awaiting test results.

WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! The enemy is battering at the gates! The ground trembles and the walls shake. We try to stand but we are knocked to our knees time and time again. We seek shelter from the enemy’s fiery darts.

But though the battle rages, I remind myself that I did not build my house on sand.

Mat 7:26, 27 And everyone who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them shall be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house. And it fell, and great was its fall. 

Rather, I have built my house on the solid rock – the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Mat 7:24, 25 Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded on a rock.

My house is built on a foundation that has Jesus Christ as the supporting cornerstone.

Eph 2:19, 20 Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

When it seems like the forces of Hell are bombarding me, I run to God who is my refuge, my fortress, my strong tower.

Psa 18:2 Jehovah is my strength, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock; I will trust in Him; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.

Pro 18:10 The name of Jehovah is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. 

I am so thankful that when the enemy seems to be encamped about me, and tribulations besiege me, I have a merciful, compassionate, loving God to whom I can turn and in whom I can trust to take care of me and my loved ones.

Psa 59:16 But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my strong tower and hiding-place in the day of my trouble. 

Blessings

 

 

Brain Drain

I am suffering from a bout of fatigue. I am not talking about a little bit of yawning that a quick cat nap would fix. I am talking about my brain feeling like it is made up of wet wool, my thoughts processing as slow as molasses in January, and my body going “I think I can, I think I can – nope – I can’t”.

There is so much that I want to do – so much that I need to do – it is frustrating!

So I work for an 1/2 hour to an hour and then plunk my butt down on the couch for an hour. I HATE being unproductive!

Then I tell myself the following things:  This is just a season. This too shall pass. And it really doesn’t matter in the long run.

I just rest in the Lord knowing that he loves me and understands what I am going through. And he reminds me about what is most important:

Luk 10:27  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. 

Which I do, to the best of my ability, in between yawnszzzzzz…….

Blessings

The Big “C”

According to the Bladder Cancer Canada Facebook page, February 4th is World Cancer Day.

I don’t think that there are too many people in the world who have not been affected themselves, or have not had a loved one or a friend affected by cancer. In my own small world, my grandfather, grandmother, mother, a niece, and myself have all had personal experiences with one form or another of that dreaded disease.

Cancer – the big “C”. Nobody wants to hear that diagnosis! I remember how shocked I was when I was told that I had bladder cancer. I had never even heard of bladder cancer! I mean, as a woman I knew about breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer – but whoever talks about bladder cancer??

After the initial shock had worn off a bit, the first thing that I wanted to know was “how/why” did I get bladder cancer? The doctor told me that the primary causes of bladder cancer are smoking and exposure to certain hazardous chemicals. I was/am not a smoker and I had not been exposed to the hazardous chemicals – HOWEVER – I lived for almost 27 years with someone who was a smoker! The negative affects of second-hand smoke had struck again it would seem.

By the grace of God, those of us in my family who have battled “the big C” survived the disease – Praise God!

I have now been cancer-free for the past 5 years. While I am hoping that my cancer has been cured once and for all, bladder cancer has an 80% rate of recurrence. According to my urologist/oncologist, I will never be considered truly free or healed of cancer, which means that I will have to have a yearly bladder scan for the rest of my life. Small price to pay to be on the safe side.

While the initial diagnosis that I had “the big C” was shocking, scary and stressful, I knew that I would not be alone during the battle because I also had “THE BIG C” –  who is Christ Jesus. Christ was with me during the tests. Christ was with me during the diagnosis. Christ, and his peace, were with me during the surgery. Christ was with me during the treatments. And Christ was with me when new tumours were found on two separate occasions.

I don’t know how anybody gets through life threatening issues like “the big C” of cancer without also having THE BIG C” of Christ Jesus in their life. Jesus Christ has been my strength, my comfort, my hope and my peace.

I pray that neither you nor your loved ones will ever have to deal with “the big C” of cancer. But I do pray that you and your loved ones will be filled with “THE BIG C” of Christ Jesus.

Php 4:7 And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Blessings