A voice silenced — Pastor Jim Bell’s Jottings

My friend and fellow blogger – Pastor Jim Bell – has gone home to be with Jesus. My heart is aching though I know he is in the best place any of us can be in. Still… I will miss him.

I wish to write that my heart goes out to his family… but I’m not sure I can express adequately how my heart is grieving. Pastor Jim was my friend and fellow blogger and cheerleader. My strength during hard times and the kind voice that kept me going.

This good and faithful servant is home now. One day I will have the privilege of meeting him in person, in heaven, sharing our wonderful Jesus!

He is resting in peace.

Please go to his blog (see below) and find inspiration and love and at times a push… His voice will live on through his blog.

Yesterday, my father James H. Bell passed from this world into the loving arms of Christ at 8:24 a.m. He was 80. His passing was peaceful, at home, and with his loving wife Kay, his daughter Lisa and myself at his side. About six months ago, he made a courageous choice to take control of […]

via A voice silenced, but it will live on here…. — Pastor Jim Bell’s Jottings

New post|”What if..”

It takes more than physical attraction to make a marriage work! 37667cb6b315bab9b446074a85d7c9a2
– Maybe if we had been on the same page and both known Jesus 
– Had we taken time out to actually talk & support each other 
– Maybe, if there had been more between us than our naked skin

What if…

Jump over to Song of Virginity and read the new post “What if…

 

Way off topic

This post has a content I don’t usually write about…

This post isn’t about Jesus – though He certainly is a part of the healing process.

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This post is about awareness of a condition known as “DYSCALCULIA” and the effects it is likely to have on children in and outside of school. 

 

 

It’s not just about math and not understanding numbers though that is always the main focus. This is about how dyscalculia flows into all areas of a child’s life, how it can create anxiety issues and social issues and the feeling of never being good enough… to even simply “cope”.

numbers_game_numbers.jpgHow a child with dyscalculia will feel too “shy” to trust her/himself enough to go buy a small thing in a shop simply because the concepts of numbers/money are off.

 

This article is from a website called UNDERSTOOD.org and this particular article addresses most of the issues that my daughter struggles with in daily life – despite not yet having reached her tween years. 

I urge you to click the link and give yourself a chance to understand that dyscalculia is a big deal – and if not found and tested in the early stages it will likely affect a child throughout life and not just in school related situations.

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Dyscalculia isn’t as known as dyslexia. Perhaps because the school system places a lot of emphasis on the language arts – but more and more kids will experience dyscalculia in years to come, though I have no way of backing up that statement, I urge any parent – AND school system – to pay close attention.

Thank you.

Defining Moment

When Julian asked me to write a guest post for his blog, I felt honored. He is an awesome blogger… but I  couldn’t imagine what subject to write on and when I asked him, he said: A defining moment. It took me very little time to decide which defining moment;

The moment when the Lord wrote His name on my heart, 1 1/2 year after I became a believer…

Jump on over to Julian’s blog and have a read: Defining Moment

And if you like his blog, you should definitely check out his guest post on my side-blog “Song of Virginity”: Real Men

Thanks

Healing_Heart_Jesus

The hidden part of grief

Okay, maybe it’s not so much hidden as it’s me just now realizing it… 

Sometimes a year seems like a very long time. Sometimes it just flies by. The past year has done both.
When I think of my daughter’s anxiety, depression, psychiatrist, psychologist, counseling, medication, fears and experiences, the year has passed by like a snail on the German autobahn!

But when I think of my dad and last summers long hard walk from hospital to hospice, watching him in agonizing pain despite extremely high dosages of morphine, to the phone call the morning of august 16th that it was over, to the funeral and the immediate grief that takes a hold of the heart when loosing a loved one – this past year has flown by faster than a Star Trek warp drive!

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It feels like it was just the other day that my brother and I went with the pine tree coffin, because dad loved nature so much and I simply couldn’t imagine him in the usual white one. We selected a natural stone and picked the duck, the fish and the stag for decorations on the stone for his burial site.IMG_3201.jpg

 

The grief has come in tidal waves. Some weeks were a lot harder than others. But after a year; grief is still here. I don’t believe we ever get over the loss of a loved on. But in time we learn to live with them being gone. I’m still learning. Every day it gets a teeny tiny bit easier.

There are different kinds of grief. We grieve when losing a loved one, but we also grieve when we learn that our child has anxieties/depression or some other debilitating issue.

That is a devastating grief too and anyone who has lived it, will know it.child-sad.png

I have help from above because I know Jesus is with me. But being a believer does not by any means except anyone from experiencing pain, sorrow, grief and sadness. Jesus experienced all of that too, so that we could have a high priest who understands our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Grief isn’t an illness. It’s a condition of the heart in which weakness is present for the time it takes to process the grief. 

A weakness I can’t handle without the Lord’s help and here’s why: This past year has taught me that grief leaves me vulnerable to temptations, fear, anger, irritability, indulging etc. In other words; It leaves me weak. In the natural process of grieving, I actually sin or do/feel things that can lead to sin.

No’b, I’m not proud of it… But I now understand that Jesus indeed knows every one of my weaknesses. So I can come boldly before His throne and find Grace to help me when I need it the most and that is the light in the middle of dark grief.

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Finally! – It’s the season and Frozen is still a good movie

Last day of school was today and it was a half day – meaning from 8.30 to noon and the program of the day was Christmas party and then Christmas concert. My girl was gorgeous looking in her Queen Elsa of Arrendale dress and matching shoes and hair bow. Well, she’s 7 and loves everything princess and dressing up. And personally, I think “Frozen” is about the best movie Disney has made. The Norway I know shines through in the images they drew and even the distinctive art of Scandinavia is vividly present. And of course the act of true love, the self sacrifice to save those loved ones who doesn’t know which way to go displays the love of Jesus in an incredible way. Though Disney may never have had that thought in mind, but surely God did.

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I have longed for this day for a long time: Finally, it’s vacation time. Finally I don’t have to struggle with a girl who doesn’t want to go to school or have worries about this, that and the other all combined into one lovely punch-bowl threatening to fall on both our heads. Finally, I can relax in the mornings and have my coffee in peace while my girl relaxes doing what 7 year olds feel like doing when they wake up in the mornings.

Oh Finally!

Not so long ago a friend came to me and told me that God had shown her a word when she prayed for me. The word was “loneliness”. At first I nodded because I understood. Little did I know that God was going to bring “loneliness” to a whole new level within me.

Those of you who read my posts regularly will know most of this already, but just in case:

My dad is terminally ill with advanced prostate cancer that has spread to the bones (spine) and 2 new metastasis has appeared, leaving him paralyzed from waist down. I know that it can spread to any organ at any given moment… and though I try to have an eye on the suitcases, as he is after all 10.000 km away, it’s as if I can’t imagine the day will come. But I realized that once he is gone, there is very little left for me in my birth country. It’s a lonely feeling I can’t really share with anyone, least of all my husband as he has never lived abroad.

My husband, being a nonbeliever, doesn’t understand the importance of having a church family. For me having a small group is essential to my well being, but forming one takes time and it’s hard. Recently our church has been without a pastor and a candidate has appeared, yet my husband who usually has joined me in church, hasn’t taken a liking to him and has said that he won’t go anymore. The prospect of going without him is rather dark, but the outlook of changing church feels even darker. The decision is mine… and that’s a lonely feeling.

I made a friend recently – well, some months ago actually – and I just love her! She’s an active seeker and was placed in my path as an angel sent from the Lord himself! Before I knew it though my friends was making friends with her and one thing lead to another. Amazing how the Lord is drawing her closer and I’m thrilled, because wow! I wanted to give her a Bible for Christmas and told a friend. The friend was placing an order and asked if I wanted the Bible from there. I declined because I had something else in mind. Next thing I know I speak to my friend whom then tells me that my friend had ordered a Bible for her, but she felt wrong taking any more (she already got 2 NT in 2 languages) so she wanted to pay for it. I asked my friend if she had ordered a Bible for her and she just said yes… I thought; Hang on a moment – I wanted to give her that Bible and she knew that, so why on earth did she go ahead and ordered one for her… Well, I have to forgive obviously, but it makes me real sad that the, precious to me, act of giving this special girl in my life a Bible, was taken away. I know it’s ridiculous because it’s my own pride and selfishness standing in the way. And that’s a lonely feeling.

Just to top it all off, we have been given notice that we must move this spring. At least we have more than a month to find something else, but with my husband living 8 hours drive away, it’s going to be tough to get a handle on this. I’ll be doing all the moving work and he’ll be doing all the paperwork. Marriage can be a lonely place when circumstances parts the couple.

Just the other day I was praying and words just flowed out of my mouth. I didn’t think too much actually – but I said “Lord, I know I am in this tunnel and it’s a hard and lonely place to be. But help me remember that You a-r-e the tunnel and in the tunnel and the light in the other end, is the hope”

Hope – it’s a word easily spread around during Christmas season. But really, the Hope IS the light and the light IS the Lord and the Lord IS the Christ and Christ IS God.

I may have loneliness in my heart. Sometimes overwhelming. But I also have hope.

Clinging to the Hope who is the God of Peace.

Ponytail Joy

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Today is the first day my daughter wears a ponytail!

For a long time she wanted long hair so we let it grow and now finally she can have a ponytail. It’s short but cute. Hair falls down the sides, but it’s there! And my daughter is so proud of it. 

Since Friday she has literally been growing in confidence to the extend that I can see and feel and hear it and quite frankly, I’m baffled, yet joyful and completely in awe of God’s hand working in her. But it wasn’t until this morning when we rode off to school on our bikes that I looked at her, with a smile on her face and the ponytail dangling that I realized what joy it brings to this mother’s heart to see her like this. It’s unexplainable. 

Last school year was a struggle on many levels and no, I don’t think my daughter was particularly happy with school though some things she did enjoy. She (and I) struggled with teachers and subjects etc and it was only 1st grade. There’s a lot to get used to when jumping from kindergarten day care (3-6 year olds) to 1st grade and skipping the academic 5-6 year old kindergarten. Once school was out and we were getting ready to head for my Nineveh (Denmark) things just got really bad for her and due to mental stress she ended up with a bleeding stomach. If I hadn’t had a brother in Christ who is a dear friend and doctor, I might not have been able to go to Denmark and see my dad or even worse – the bleeding might not have been stopped and things could have gotten way out of hand. But God was there and He is in control. I’m so thankful for that. 

Once back she began 2nd grade and I had my thoughts on how things would go. First week was stressful and the last day of the week she crashed and cried and couldn’t handle things anymore. The following week went better, but then she had the day off Friday and we went to see our beloved before-mentioned doctor to have her stomach follow up check. He has an amazing effect on her and as he prayed for her and my family, hope came back and from then on, my daughter has been growing in many ways. Including giving me an attitude as if she was a teen… but it’s fine; It signals to me that she is breaking free from the little girl role and finding her place in the “big girl” 2nd grader world she is now living in. 

Saturday we saw the counselor and for the first time my daughter was alone with her and though she may have felt a bit nervous she seemed comfortable. In the afternoon we went to a climbing wall and my daughter climbed… She hasn’t wanted to climb since beginning 1st grade and so it was a milestone to see her climb again. A wonderful milestone. Sunday she entered Sunday school with only a tad bit of hesitation, but she did it without tears fully knowing that her favorite teacher has left and gone to the US. Monday she could grab her backpack and run up the stairs to her classroom on her own and… 

This morning she wears a ponytail! I am so filled with Joy inside that my girl is wearing a ponytail. I know it sounds ridiculous but I couldn’t care less. The ponytail seems to be expressing a growth in confidence that she has been needing for such a long time. 

Praise the Holy Lord for always being there – through the hard and tough times when I wanna give up and the Joyful times when I want to shout to the Heavens with my grateful and humbled heart. 

In Him 

 

 

Peace within the storm – my faithful Lord

I look up and see the sky. I look down and see a rock. I look around and see a raging sea… Yet I am calm and standing. I have moments of despair and in those moments when I think this world can’t suck anymore out of me, it continues to suck… and I run to the Lord. Whom in return takes me to:

1 Peter 1:3-7:  “Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God’s power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time. Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine.” 

He talks about the Living Hope. The hope that is alive – so maybe the trials are hard but His purpose is good and I’ll just keep my eye on the hope alive in me while He proves my faith is genuine. It’s not that easy but like I was talking to a dear friend of mine about; I am surprisingly still standing tall and calm, despite all the circumstances that seems to be more like a raging sea than still waters.

He doesn’t justify the struggles, trials and adversities nor does He justify satan’s attacks on my faith. What He does say is trust Him, my faith is being proven genuine (perhaps mainly to myself..?? but hopefully so others can see it too) and to keep my eye on what He puts in storage for me.

Today my family and I are heading out to visit the counselor taking my daughter in. Last week we had the intake session without my daughter so today will be their first meeting. There is peace within the storm.