"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

no matter what

I am proud of the fact that a few of my readers have noticed and mentioned that I don't mince words on my blog. I try to be as transparent and genuinely honest as possible when I write. Whether it's about my family, my opinions, my faith or whatever situation is encompassing my heart at the moment. On the other hand, I'm not naive to the fact that I've probably lost readers because of it, but as I've always said, "It' my blog". It's my place where I go to vent, journal and share in my joys and sorrows. More importantly, it's my little piece of cyberspace where God can be glorified, in good times and in bad.

How do you praise God when illness, financial stresses and the world around you seems to be crumbling, all the while God is being pushed further and further away from society today?

How do you wake up in the morning and thank Him when you hear the news that innocent children are being abused and killed? When there are terminally sick children that seem to have no hope? When families are losing their jobs and homes?

Do you remember THIS post where I shared with you that sweet hubby was going into business on his own? Well, it's been rough. Really. Rough. There's had to be a lot of changes in our home life (Daddy being away much more than we expected), financial burdens that come with the added struggles of being on your own, Anna Grace's attachment issues have once again reared it's ugly head (of which was expected because it's hard for an adult to adjust to all these changes, much less a little one who needs constant stability) and well, you get the picture.

Since we came home from NYC, we've had the pool pump break down, the A/C break down, and this morning to my enjoyment (NOT!) the motor on the garage door is shot. Daddy is out of town. Fortunately, he was able to walk me through how to release the door lock so I could get the car out. What does all this mean? More money to be dumped into a house that's lost 1/2 it's value in the past year and we're living in the mecca of foreclosure heaven. Yes, our little city is the # 1 rated city in the country with the highest foreclosure ratings. But, I've had peace in my heart through it all.

Last night, we learned about a pretty big financial loss that we will not be able to recover. This morning the kids were dressed and sitting in the car ready to head out to school when I pushed the button in the car to open the garage door, only to hear that "buzzing" sound. Tears welled in my eyes. At about that point, I was feeling completely defeated. Satan had me where he wanted me.

I got everyone out of the car while surrounded by a myriad of little voices asking, "Why we not go to school?"...."Why we get out of car?" "Mama! Mama! Mama!" My mind was racing thinking how am I going to get Amanda from school if I can't get the car out? Along with the thought of, "Oh Lord....something else that needs fixing."

But then I stopped. I froze and said to myself, "This is what you're complaining about? Look around you!" He gave me the opportunity to spend a little more time hugging my babies this morning. I took that opportunity and right there and then, I did. I hugged each one of my babies and thanked Him again.

Then, I went to my room, got on my knees and thanked and praised Him from the bottom of my heart. I thanked Him for stopping me in my tracks when I was on my usual fast-paced morning routine. I thanked Him for letting me see and appreciate all of the blessings I've received from Him. Blessings that surround me daily. I thanked Him for my children who are healthy, my marriage that is strong, for a roof over our heads and food in our bellies daily. As I cried, I made sure to thank Him for the most important of all reasons, for being in my life. It is because of Him that I have all these blessings. It is because of Him that I have the strength to handle what comes my way, because it is when I am weak that He makes me strong. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." - Phil. 4:13

This morning, I was reminded of what an awesome feeling it is to give thanks and praise , no matter what, but especially when your world seems to be falling apart around you. It is then that we can surrender and leave it at His feet. It is then that we give Him room to move in our lives and allow for His will to be done. It is then when he carries us through the fire.

Satan wants nothing more than to watch us wallow in our misery. But our God is so much bigger. No matter what, He will deliver us from the net that has been cast around us. He is always at our side. We cannot predict the future, but we can predict His unchanging faithfulness.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips."
Psalm 34:1


Jennifer said...

Sorry things aren't going well there, but thank you so much for the great reminder about our focus. I needed to hear that!

Will be praying for you today...

TanyaLea said...

I love this post. I don't know why, but it completely brought me to tears. It just spoke to the depths of my heart and the FOCUS we all need to have. It reminds me of the song "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns.

Thanks for being so real and candid, Ohilda...it is definitely one of the things I love about you, along with your heart for the Lord! You will be in my prayers! <><

Blessings and Hugs,

The Princess's Mommy said...

Praying for you, my sweet friend. Thank you for this reminder about what is really important. You continue to amaze me with your faith.

Love you,

a Tonggu Momma said...

What an excellent reminder for all of us, Ohilda...

Kim said...

Thank you so much for always being willing to share your heart. I hope you never stop because by doing so I think you help more people than you realize.

I really needed to read this today. I've been feeling pretty down in the dumps the last week or so. Not so much about personal things, but just feeling overwhelmed with the evil in the world. The second of five trials just concluded in a terribly heinous local double murder case
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom for anyone who is interested), then finding out yesterday about sweet Lavender. As a parent I have been very shaken by the horror of both of these events. But your post has helped me remember that God is on His throne and is in control. I need to keep my eyes on Him. Thank you for sharing from your life and helping us all!

The Ferrill's said...

Ohilda my sweet precious friend! I will be praying for you...
2 Corinthians 4:17
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
You are SO RIGHT...we ALWAYS need to thank God! Praise is the best prescription for a downcast heart. Crank up that praise music...Hillsong, baby! Thank you for reminding me to keep looking UP, so that I will not get down!
I love you so much! I pray the Lord will send you a special blessing today...
Psalm 86:17
"Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me."

Anonymous said...


How do you do it? How do you write stuff that I just need to hear. I am stuggling with the loss of control of the situation of my kids with my split, and have been thinking and praying on this. Your writing today hit the spot. Thank you1

geminirn said...

What a great reminder to each of us...thank you! I will keep you in my prayers!!

Jill said...

THIS is why I love you Ohilda!!!!
Prayers coming YOUR way for all the burdens you are feeling right now...yet you praise God in the midst of them encouraging ME!
Thank you friend for your faithfulness! AND, of course...YOUR HONESTY in the good and the bad!

Patricia/NYC said...

Love this post...a wonderful reminder & so
beautifully articulated, Ohilda!!

Praying for you, girl!!

day by day said...

Amen!! I love you, my friend!!!!

Aus said...

Morning my friend - just a couple things going on eh? Remember that there IS always a reason - the garage door opener broke becuase there was a drunk on the road with your kids name on his car? The pool pump broke because one of the kids needed to be kept out of the water for reasons worse? You see where I'm going? Did you ever notice (like I just did) that if you take the N out of Friend you get 'fried'? :> Or maybe He just needed you to bring witness to a couple folks that needed to hear His Word from your mouth?
It'll work out - it always does - and today I (like you) woke up on the right side of the roses so I get another whack at it....it's a good day!

And anyone who quits reading a blog because the words make them uncomfortable is 1) lazy and unwilling to be challanged, 2) a child who can't understand and / or accept adult opinion or conversation, and 3) a sissy!

love you guys - hugs

aus and co.

Deborah Ann said...

Tears welled up in my eyes as I read this post. Oh, my dear sister in Christ! Your response of worshiping God in the middle of a crisis overwhelms and encourages me so much. I love that you don't mince words...

you're invited to join me:


Nothing heavy here, just some light-hearted God time...

Timmy's Girl @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

This post truly blessed me. It was a good reminder that we are to praise him in all things. What a blessing you are to me, Ohilda.

xoxo, Veronica

Peg said...

My dearest friend,
I really needed that post--Rich and Jerry's unemployment, my dear sister Mary's death--still I am blessed--thanks for being Christ's voice in the wilderness.

Tracy said...

Hang in there. Your right the Lord never forsakes us! We tend forget to forget our blessings thanks for the reminder.

Beth Gore said...

As one who is also walking through the valley, you say it ever so eloquently. Ps. 56:8 says God keeps our tears in a bottle. (I even wrote a song about this one). To me, it means that EVERY SINGLE PAIN we feel, HE notices, HE feels.

Praises be to God who has made a beautiful creation such as your heart.


The Byrd's Nest said...

You are beautiful my sweet friend. Reminds me of that song...I will worship while I'm waiting...I will praise you while I'm waiting...(or something like that)....you are doing exactly what the Lord is asking sister.....you remain in my prayers.

Michelle said...

I LOVE this post!! I am so sorry to hear that you have been having so many daily struggles, but thank you for putting these things in perspective and reminding us all. I love your heart that you would get out of your car and hug your kids when it might have been other's breaking point. I just love your heart, Ohilda!!

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