Where the Wind Does Blow

The wind is blowing a gale today, and it makes me wish I were a kite or a pretty pink balloon….that the wind can take hold of me and blow me to places I’ve only dreamed of…..

Beautiful Alaska, where I could fish, climb and breathe deeply.

Tianjin, China….where I fell in love with so many beautiful children and was captured by the heart of God.


The savannahs of Africa.  Perhaps I’ll find Robert Redford there??

Paris, France although it might sound cliche.  I just have to see it!

To Immunize or Not Immunize….

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)

 

There’s not much more to be said after scripture like that….but no matter where you are at in life, it’s good to read.  Strangely enough, in all of that goodness of scripture, what stands out to me this week is “let your gentleness be evident to all”.  I’m an incredibly opinionated person, but my fear of confrontation keeps me from speaking such opinions unless absolutely necessary.  If you’re blessed enough to be one of my family members then you’ve heard Ranting Charity before.  Well, in keeping with the spirit of doing new things, I’m offering my first “opinionated post”….

So, how to do this and continue to “Let my gentleness be evident to all”?  People who speak their opinions in judgment and without gentleness are like nails on a chalkboard to me (NOTE: Charity’s 1st opinion of this post).  So, I’ll add this disclaimer that if you have the facts to show me, there’s a good chance I’ll change my opinion.  But for all my research and work with Special Needs children, here is my first official, debate-starting, opinion.  Let the wars begin.

 

To immunize or not immunize:  That is the question.

I say immunize.  Now, I have to agree that our country has a habit of giving unnecessary things more than any other country – from the chicken pox shot to double mocha de-caf lattes to huge portions of food to dvd players in minivans.  Hey, I drink lattes…  But the chicken pox shot? It’s not even fatal…it’s really all about preventing 30 kids from staying home from school with the chicken pox, where-in the school loses attendance money.

 

Yet even with that, I say immunize.  No, Autism is  not caused by immunizations.  Yes, probably almost all children with Autism were immunized as babies…and they probably all drank milk too…and you know what, they probably all watched The Little Einsteins and wore diapers and ate canned baby food…why hasn’t anyone blamed Autism on any of those things? Oh that’s right…because we don’t know what causes Autism…is it possible that these sweet children I work with day in and day out were “predisposed” to it? That it could be a dormant gene? That it could be from any number of other causes stemming from a fallen and broken world? That same broken world that produces the cancer gene and the extra Downs Syndrome chromosome and the Cystic Fybrosis disorder…have we blamed any of that on immunizations? No.  Let’s face it, Autism scares us because we don’t understand it.  Like AIDS, we have no cure and no answers.  Thankfully, Autism isn’t fatal.  In fact, I work with wonderful, beautiful children that learn along with their families to live happy and fulfilling lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not brushing it off…believe me, I work with these children and their families – I see the toll it takes and the hardships they face.  But praise Jesus, they’re children are alive.

Do you know what is fatal? Polio.  Smallpox.  I’ve seen children in other countries firsthand that are dying at a terribly young age from these diseases and others like them.  Do you know what could have prevented their early deaths? That one simple shot that they are denied, because their country either doesn’t provide them or their parents cannot afford medical care.  And you know what else? There are Autistic children in this same said country…interesting considering they were denied immunizations…

 

I believe the Lord provided modern medicine  to be used, albeit with wisdom as with anything else.  Children who haven’t been immunized may not catch some of the awful diseases, fatal or not…do you know why that is? Because all the other children they’re playing with are immunized…  I see mom’s not immunizing their children for fear of the shot, and then not taking their children out of the home for fear of the diseases they might catch because they haven’t been immunized!  And then there’s mom’s who have immunized their children but still fear for their children’s health despite the prevention!

 

Here, I defer to the middle portion of the above scripture.  God did not give us a spirit of fear.  It all boils down to this.  At some point, we all have to trust that God will take care of our children.  The Lord has a plan for their life and He knows the number of their days.  When He seeks to bring them home to His side, who can stop Him? If He seeks to heal them of a fatal disease, who can stop Him?  In the meantime, I’m going to immunize my children, because I feel it’s a blessed provision after seeing sweet children in countries deprived of such blessings.  I’m not going to immunize them out of fear or NOT immunize them out of fear.  And then present my requests to God with thanksgiving on behalf of the children He has given me and the medical opportunities this country has for them, trusting Him to fulfill His Will for their life….and letting the peace of God rest in my heart and mind.

And that’s that.

When Life Gives You Lemons….

I’ve never particularly been a fan of lemonade, and I’ve finally discovered why that is.  You see, the lemonade I’d always tasted was made from Koo-laid packets, frozen cans, or powders…with tons of sugar added until it was more sweet than tart.  Until one day recently, I was offered a cold glass of fresh, squeezed-by-hand, more-tart-than-sweet, REAL lemonade.  I have never tasted such lemonade…and I could not put the glass down.  I expected sweet and sugary with a hint of lemon, instead I got tart and refreshing with a hint of sweet.  I’m talking the kind of tart that makes the insides of your mouth pucker and sends a shiver down your spine.  I couldn’t stop drinking it, as if it were nectar of the gods, glass after glass….

My point? Lesson learned.  Only the tartest, hardest to swallow, real lemons make the best lemonade.  So as I look at my life, I’m seeing a lot of hard-core lemons.  Can’t wait to taste the lemonade. 🙂


Spring Is Coming

I think my favorite part of living in South Texas is the unstoppable blooming of beautiful trees earlier than all the other places I’ve lived.  While the humidity is something to run from, it does produce some of God’s most beautiful blooms.  Just a sweet smelling reminder today that Spring is coming (if not already here in Houston).

Out of these ashes, beauty will rise, and we will dance among the ruins….we will see it with our own eyes.

He gives and He takes away, Blessed be the Lord

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve attempted a blog post…but do you ever feel that there’s just too much happening in life to summarize into a few paragraphs? I definitely don’t have the energy or willpower to begin to process the thoughts it would take to document the last few months of my life.

So, for those of you who know the curve ball life threw my way, you’ll understand. For those of you who don’t…well…you may have to wonder a while longer, until I feel the strength to tell the world.

All in all, I have many many questions that remain unanswered. I get the impression that I may never get an answer to some of them. And others, I’m just going to have to wait for. I feel as though I woke up and found the dream I was having is suddenly a bad reality…that I turned around and found myself in a battle for my heart and everything I knew to be true – but I can’t find my way through the fog to know who’s the enemy and where to swing my sword. I almost feel like I’m just ducking behind a rock with my shield, waiting for the storm to subside. Perhaps that’s the low road and perhaps others would have opinions about what I should and shouldn’t do…but my world is suddenly upside down and I don’t really know how to turn it right-side up again.  The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…and he has.  Or at least, he is trying and seeming to succeed.  My heart cries out that the battle is the Lords and He will have the victory, but it is still on its way.

All I do know is that somewhere in this awful mess, my Jesus stands ready to save, rescue, restore, heal, and make all things right. I know He see’s every tear, hears every prayer, knows every thought, and every desire of my heart. I know He knew this day would come, He knew how I would feel, and He knows the exact moment He’ll make everything new. I wish I could see what He sees – but my mind wouldn’t be able to take in the awesomeness of His great plan.

Many many dear friends and family have been a great support and many have been praying without knowing the details – and you are all equally needed. Many of you have your suspicions about what’s happened lately, and I guarantee you that it’s not quite what you think, but yes, you are right. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you haven’t asked me questions – I can’t hardly bear to talk about it right now. I can’t tell you how much I covet your prayers, for me and also for all involved. I promise to explain at some point, but please know there is much need for healing (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) and that I have not stopped loving, not even for one moment, the people involved in this major life change. I pray with all my heart that the Lord heals and restores what has been broken by the enemy. But even if He chooses another way than what I hope for, I will yet praise Him. He is the lover of my soul, my all in all, my everything, He is jealous for me, my comforter, my Redeemer, and Friend.

Love you all,

Charity