Thursday, October 16, 2008

Investments and securities-

These pictures of Ava and Crew were taken by me as I sat in the big chair in my living room two afternoons ago. I have a great view from my lap, don't I?!
What I can't help but love about these photos, also makes me stop and pause and think, and that is about the contentment, peace and happiness that I see in these images. Crew couldn't be any more peaceful when he sleeps in my lap or when he's all wrapped up like a little burrito in his blankets. Ava couldn't be more happy and silly and she not only knows how much she's loved, but she also knows that she can be herself and she certainly was pulling that off in her butterfly tee and pink glasses here. It made me feel good and I think it's one of the things I feel very strongly about as a mom of young children, and that is that they are comfortable and secure. Nothing makes me ache more than when my kids are hurt- physically or emotionally- or when they are fearful of something- real or imagined. As a mom, I feel so responsible for how they are feeling and even though I know life isn't all just a bed of roses, I do my best to make everyone around me feel loved and secure.
I then turned my thoughts toward some of the big issues and events going on in my life around me and in the world too and thought of how little security there is at this point in time. I'm not talking about airport check stations, but the reality of a scary economic crisis that continues to swirl, the ongoing war and terrorism threats that our nation faces and all the stuff we hear in the news media that makes some of us want to turn off the tv forever and just tune it all out. There's a lot of pain and negativity and hopelessness 'out there'.
Closer to home, I have a neighbor who is left with a little girl after her husband killed himself last week. She is young and I'm sure she is scared about her future. Our 3rd grade teacher at school had a bicycle accident last week...she fell off and hit her head and lies in a coma at this time. These sort of random incidents, added to the news we already hear and worry about, can make life feel a little overwhelming. Surely I'm not the only one that feels this way.
Thankfully, I do not live in fear of the future and the unknown. I do not worry about the value of a dollar or get upset that some of our savings have vanished, nor do I worry about our nation's political future- even as the election grows near.
I will vote and I care about issues...don't get me wrong. I like to be informed and pray about and make wish decisions, but I don't let my feelings get worked up even when I sense a growing concern about the way things are headed.
I like to thank God for the feeling of peace He gives me and many of you- time and time again- even when things seem to be spinning out of control. It's this solid foundation and promises from the Bible that I can turn to when things are going good or bad. I love that faith reminds me to believe in what I cannot see or feel. I know that God has all things in His control and that He can be trusted. My securities lie not in things of this world, but in the Hope of Heaven and the promises of God. Nothing gives me more assurance than reading Truth and resting in fact that there is more to this life than just what we see.
I just wanted to remind myself and maybe some of you today, that when you trust fully in the One who holds the future, there is no reason to be afraid. One of my favorite passages that speaks to this is found in the book of Psalms...I'm happy to share it and hope that it gives some of you reassurance and Hope today. We can laugh and live free and be ourselves- without worry- if we personally entrust our hearts to God. He is my only Hope and security.
Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, He burns the shields with fire.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.


N, Kelly, D, E and Zoe said...

In these times, I don't know how people can go on without His peace. I would be a complete wreck without His contentment. There are many times I have to ask Him to help me feel it, but when it washes over me, I know He's totally in control.

It truly is a peace that passes all understanding.

In Him,

PS - Cute pics of the kiddos. I love seeing their personalities shine through.

Carrie said...

Wow. That was so powerful and WELL NEEDED! Thank you SO much for that post, I got chill bumps about 4 times and am on my way to my blog to ask people to read what you have written. You are absolutely right about everything you said. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What an excellant reminder! We as believers always have "The Rock" who is never-changing when our world is being shaken and at times fractured! There are times that I've failed to go to Him but I've always had a gentle reminder such as yours today! Thank you so much for that!

BTW...Crew is getting big! I can see the changes in him through your pictures. Cute, cute kids!!! All of them!

Anonymous said...

I found you on Sara's blog, I follow her and Riley and saw that she follows you. I am so humbled by your story. Thank you for sharing it.
There are so many people hurting today. I pray for the requests at my church every week, and it takes my breath away how much pain there is ~
Thank you for reminding me today that God is in control.

Auntie Melissa said...

Such cute photos of the two littlest punkins! :)

Shannon said...

awesome encouragement... thanks!

Jill said...


All that you are praying for others I echo. I can't imagine not having the hope of heaven to hold me tight. I can't imagine all those touched by the economy now and don't know where their hope comes from. I pray for them daily.

I have been reading your blog for about 9 months.

However, last night I finally realized I could read Teagan's story. I searched your blog many times but could never find the story. Then last night like a neon sign I saw the link.

The house was completely quiet and maybe I should have waited to read it this morning - because what I sat and read took me on a journey that I did not expect. Your story is truly remarkable on so many levels. I think the day you were on Oprah was the last time I watched her show. I remember your story and how it touched me the day I watched. I was NOT a believer then and it was all God that I was watching that day. Your story of forgivness has stuck with me ever since that showing.

Jody, last night I wrapped you in prayer as I read and read that article of that night that changed your lives forever. I prayed that even after all of this time that your story reaches all those who refuse to forgive, whether it be themselves or someone else. That through your pain they will let go and be set free to run into Jesus' arms.

I prayed over your children and little Crew. I prayed that they are protected and kept safe. I prayed that God uses the strength you gained from the past today to continue to reach into the hearts of those who have hardened their hearts towards Him.

In an instant our lives can change like the wife left behind after her husband made the choice for them to be witout him. Or the school teacher one day fine the next lying in a hospital bed in a coma. Only God knows what tomorrow holds and that honestly gives me great peace. Even with the fact that tomorrow may bring something that could change how I live, breath and walk. I am thankful for your story, your heart and your precious family.

I have a new love for you, Wyndam and all of your family. It is a respect that comes from because through it all you gave God the glory and wanted others to see His light through your unimaginable brokeness.

What a gift Teagan was and her beauty lives on in you and your family!

I am blessed to have found your blog and finally read her story. Your story!

Thanking God for your faith and trust in Him!

Love and blessings,

Sorry this was so long!

Anonymous said...

i just posted about this verse this morning :-) love your sweet kids

Memaw Barbie said...

What a word of encouragement. I have enjoyed following your blog for almost a year now. I appreciate your strength of faith and your love of family. God has blessed you and your family.

Jane-Jane said...

Your gift of writing always amazes me.

Just tonight I was thinking about my journey to loose weight. I've got 7 of the 50 pounds off. It could take as long as a year to get the entire 50 off. Just like the economy, there is no easy fix.

My heart is breaking for the young mom who's husband could see no hope. I will be praying for both families as they deal with their loss & the loved one in a coma.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jody--You are amazing! Every picture always looks like ya'll are having the greatest time--Your kids are always having fun and making big messes (play dough picture, etc)--so I am curious- do you have someone that helps you clean your house or are you really super woman? Just curious!? Your children are gorgeous! Love--Erika Allison in MS

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much for sharing such precious pictures and amazing words. This was very much appreciated. I hope that you all have a nice weekend. What is Crew going to be for Halloween. I hope to find costumes for the twins this weekend.
PS: Be sure and visit my blog for a give away!

Jane-Jane said...

Jody, I hope you don't mind...I linked your blog to a post I just wrote. Let me know if you would like me to take the post down. 'just thought your post worked well with what I am thinking today.

michelle said...

Can't remember how I found your blog... a friend of a friend of a friend, but I'm hooked.

We're about the same age but I feel you have so much wisdom and positive insight because of (inspite of?) what you have been through. I've been reading for about 3 months...slowly going through the archives. You have made me laugh and sob, but I can always sense the peace you seem to have because of our Jesus. Thank you for your open-ness.

I have been thinking along the same lines of you these past few weeks. There is so much uncertainty in this world at this time but I have a peace that tells me everything is going to be alright. Although chaos surrounds me, I sense His peace in me as well. My 3 year old daughter is having strange physical symptoms but the Dr. is dismissing them so I struggle with "am I being a paranoid hypochondriac mother"? Last week, a security guard at my place of employment dropped dead of a heart-attack on the job while I was working, not 15 minutes after I talked to him. A co-worker was found unconscious yesterday in her home, now not expected to recover from 2 blood clots in her brain. Another co-worker's 18 year old son died yesterday completely unexpectedly while taking a shower! A cousin (a pastor in Michigan) with terminal cancer- expecting a miracle although medical science says its impossible at this late stage. Financial stresses (my husband and I both work full time, opposite shifts, but barely make ends 1 car in the shop for $700 worth of repairs and the other on its last leg. All the while I so desperately just want to have our credit card debt to POOF disappear so that I can stay home with my babies! Again, my daughter is 3 and I have a 7 mo old son...I feel I'm missing out on soooooo much!)Marital issues top it all off...

I am STRESSED but yet I feel at peace. I know my FATHER cares about every aspect of my life and so I sigh and try to let go. And miraculously, I can rest in HIM. Where would I be without his assurance?

Sorry this is so "rambly" but I guess I feel like I kinda know you since I have read all that you have shared on this blog and I guess that then in turn makes me feel comfortable enough to "spill" a little of my life out here.


Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well said Jody!

Faith and fear don't mix. The Lord is in charge. We must continue in spite of our trials.
If we endure to the end, we will have eternal life in this blink of the eye mortal life. What we do now on earth, will determine the eternities!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the timely reminder.
I will look at the particular Psalm thoughout my day.
Your new son is just beautiful.