Emoji Me

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I have a question for you. When you text, comment or email what do you use most? Words (yes, abbreviated words included) or those great emojis?

I find that whatever I am trying to say can be best said with a smiling face, a face with tears of laughter, a sobbing face, a heart, praying hands or a monkey (when all else fails).

It just seems easier. And I am realizing there is something more to this than my cumbersome thumbs and thoughts not getting the words right.

I cry often. I cry at parades, most movies, talking to my daughters’ teacher (just last month, yes, they are in high school—grade 9), reading a touching post, watching the firsts of my foster babies and so much more.

I am starting to realize how emotional I can be. I ‘feel’ deeply.

In many ways, I am thankful for this gift. Compassion and empathy bodes serving others.

There are times though when my emotions have wreaked havoc on many situations and circumstances. My emotions have tainted my perceptions and misguided my decisions. How I feel cannot override who I know God to be and my obedience to Him and His holy Word.

In the desert the Israelites became caught up in an emotional frenzy of fear. They were forgetting what they knew about God and His character.

‘That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”’ (Numbers 14:1-4)

Gone were the memories of God freeing them from slavery, protecting them, feeding them and fulfilling every promise made to them. Their perspective changed as it was being led by emotion and being led away from God’s Promised Land.

Living life abundantly, the life God wants for me, means keeping my emotions in check. And letting the Truth about my God direct me by the leading of the Spirit instead.

‘For the Spirit of God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7

Being the Embodiment of Unconditional Love

Written by: Cindy Morrone

Her story came across my FaceBook feed.  A young Mom decided to place her newborn with an adoptive couple.  I can’t recall the details but I can recall how difficult the decision was for her.  How heartbreaking for her.  She used this phrase in her testimony to describe her role as her newborn son’s Mother “I need to be the embodiment of unconditional love to him.”

And to me this describes exactly what being a Mother means.

Constantly, we are asked to set aside our wants and sometimes needs to take care of our children.

We give up our sleep, our time, our ambitions and our bodies for seasons just for them.

As Moms, we have times when we are driven to dig deep; deeper than ourselves.

In the book of 1 Kings Chapter 3 verses 16-28, we see two Moms of similar lifestyles, act in very different ways.  Both women had babies at the same time. One baby died and both claimed the living baby as their own.  Wise King Solomon was asked to make a decision.  Whose baby was it? Both adamantly claimed the child.  The King’s response was terrifying, ‘Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.  He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”’  1 Kings 3:24 & 25

I have had some significant moments in my Mothering journey where digging deep beyond me has happened.

Like the Mom in 1 Kings, I’ve had to totally surrender for my child ‘The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” 1 Kings 3:26

Years of infertility; remaining barren.  A surrendering that was God’s will for us.

A failed adoption.

A decision to foster our daugthers forever if that’s what they needed; if that’s what was decided.

Saying good-bye to our foster children.

In each moment, I’ve had to place the needs of each of our children above the wants of my heart.

It’s what we do, as Mamas.

Our love for them is not conditional.   We are being the embodiment of unconditional love.

And in these moments, I have never had what it takes.  It’s bigger than me.  In these times, I am the closest to my God.  Being a Mom drives me to my need for God.  And He never fails for He knows and has given such Sacrifice for me.

God bless you and yours, Mama!! Never forget you are never alone!! Love you!!

 

In God We Trust; For Everything Else Pay Cash

Written by: Cindy Morrone

To say that we’ve found it challenging to live on primarily a single income; would be a serious understatement.  Over the years, going from a two-income salary home, to one and a half, to now one, has us on a major learning curve.

We received this financial advice along the way, “In God We Trust; For Everything Else Pay Cash.” The advice reportedly came from a business university professor.

On hearing this it really struck a cord with me.

And how living life as a Christian is exactly like this.

We trust God in all things.  But that doesn’t mean we sit and not do.  That does not mean we do not do the hard stuff.

In this financial learning curve, we are finding that hard work needs to be done.  Really hard work.  Delayed gratification, diligence, denial, saying, ‘no’, to name a few.

We find in the book of Esther, her perfect example of living in such a way.  Esther once an orphan, now a Queen trusted and did the difficult.  When her people were to be annihilated by the order of her very own husband, the King, she interceded on their behalf, no matter the cost.

‘Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me.  Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.  I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law.  And if I perish, I perish.”’ Esther 4:15 & 16

What is your biggest hurdle, my friend?  What most prevents you from living as God intended for you?

Let’s not be afraid to do the hard stuff. For soon we’ll realize that we are not alone as God always goes before us, just as He did Esther.

‘“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”’ Esther 4:14

The Things That Bind Us

Written by: Cindy Morrone

What are your biggest stressors?

Those things that cause you to go Ahhhhhhh!!! in your mind, which your behaviours shortly follow.

For me, these things have changed over my years.

From a young age it was loud noises, including fireworks.  I hated them! It was terror for me to watch them with my hands over my ears and jumping with every ignition.

Then as I started to drive it was stop lights. Yes, I began to panic as I approached a light on a highway going its speed of 80 km/h terrified that I wouldn’t be able to make the decision of whether to stop or keep going.

Later on, it was the setting of the sun. That supper hour where a sense of dread forebodes.

In each of these situations; happenings in my past; significant difficult experiences set a pattern of beliefs, encroaching onto my present.

An experience, experienced.  A word spoken and believed. A thought owned as one’s own.

These things can be debilitating.

These things can prevent us from moving forward in freedom into God’s best for us.

Today, I am happy to say that none of these things impact me anymore!!

Scripture gives us hope!!

That we do not need to hold onto these things meant to overcome us.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

Scripture reveals that importance of taking every one of our thoughts captive.  Is it true? Is it real? Is it what the Bible says?

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:4&5

It is my hope, that we will live in this Freedom, the One offered to us and be bound no more!!

He Goes Before You and Me

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I love watching the Royal Family.  I am amazed at how when they enter a room, the doors are swung wide open for them and all attention is on their entering.  They carry nothing in their posed, gloved hands.

When I enter somewhere it is nothing like royalty.

I may appear disheveled on any given day.  I am fumbling to open any door with one arm carrying a car seat filled with a precious one.  There is usually a diaper bag, purse and often times a book bag slung on the other shoulder.  I may draw attention to our entering but only by those wondering, “What on earth?”  Haha!!

I was anticipating something I had never done before.  It was big.  There would be a lot of major decisions made in that one meeting, that would affect myself and my family directly.  It would impact my everyday life and my life’s calling.

I was so anxious.  Wondering about the ‘What Ifs?’ Not having control, except for a small voice, over the outcome.

I don’t know about you but the new, the unknown, the uncertain are difficult for me.

Beforehand, I was so thankful that I reached out to some dear friends because I was reminded;

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

In his last days Moses, spoke these words to his successor, Joshua.  Joshua was to cross the Jordan and enter into the Promised land.  Moses assured Joshua that the Lord, Himself would go before him.

We have that same assurance.

And as soon as I entered that meeting, it was immediately evident that the Lord had gone before me.  He had already prepared the way.

I pray, that you are reminded this very day that whatever your Jordan looks like that the Lord goes before you.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.

Altar Hesitation—It’s Me, Not You

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I know when the time is coming in service.  The pianist steps out of the pew and starts to play quietly as the Pastor speaks invitation.

I start to feel warm and flush and my stomach is in a flutter.

I hesitate.

I need to meet at the altar.  I want to meet at the altar.

But that would mean you would know that I have a want; a need.

That would mean you would see that I am not all-together.  That would mean that although I am dressed in my Sunday best, you would see that my interior is messy.

That would mean that I need you to help me; to come alongside me.

An inner battle ensues and I am so thankful that I now submit to the call.

The gifts I would have missed out on had I not gone to the altar when I needed to.

My needs have been spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and financial.  I have been prayed for and I have asked for prayers for others.

My forehead has been anointed with oil.

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

At the altar the Word and Truth have been spoken over me.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19 & 20

I have made confessions of sin.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  James 5:16

Thank you to those who have met me there at the altar.  Thank you for meeting me in such a place.  For helping me carry my burdens. For praying for me and my loved ones. Thank you for speaking the Truth in Love.  Thank you for approaching the throne of Grace on my behalf.  Thank you to our Pastors and leadership for giving such an opportunity.  Thank you.

 

 

 

Heaven Bound—The End

Written by: Cindy Morrone

‘But the other criminal rebuked him, “don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”’  Luke 23:40-43

Two men. Two men hanging. Two men being punished justly for what their deeds deserve.

Both die.

Their endings the complete opposite.

One man in paradise. The other man not.

There are certain scenarios where it’s plain to see that saving is needed.

Someone drowning. A car crash victim.  Stopping a child from running onto the road.

For a long time, I never saw my need to be saved.  Wait, if I’m being honest, I never admitted my need to be saved.

I hid behind being a good person.  Doing good things.  Doing good in life.

Like the other criminal who hung there, I believed that one could save oneself.

‘“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us”!’ Luke 23:39

And then there was a realization that my good wasn’t good enough.

It wasn’t until my self-serving efforts started to crumble, that I started to look elsewhere for help.

Then, like the other thief hanging beside Jesus I admitted to needing a Saviour.

One man. One man hanging on a cross.  One man hanging on a cross between two criminals.

One man, who has done nothing wrong.

Offers salvation.

It was by faith one thief entered paradise not by his good deeds.

Like the two sinners that hung beside Him on the cross we all stand guilty of wrongdoing.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  Romans 3:23

And except for accepting His free gift of forgiveness, there is nothing we can do.

 

“and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”  Romans 3:24

Heaven Bound –There’s More!!

Written by: Cindy Morrone

This will be impossible for me to describe in words.  I have been contemplating all week how to capture the essence of heaven.

Last week I shared Heaven Bound; if you haven’t read that post yet, it can be found here.   http://wearehiskids.com/2018/03/18/heaven-bound/)

The foundational Scriptures in that post are paramount to having a Christian faith.

There’s More!

Imagine living a life with …..no more death or mourning or crying or pain,…..(Revelation 21:4)

Let’s not miss the beginning of that Scripture, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes……” (Revelation 21:4)

He.

Have you ever experienced love from someone so profound that it’s impossible to describe in words?

Have you had experiences where love has overcome you and sharing it with another is lost in the translation?

A Mom’s kisses after a fall

Mom’s chicken noodle soup when we’re sick; no matter how old we are

A sibling giving you the last bite

The first call, text from someone that makes your stomach flutter; the first kiss

Your love asking you to marry

Your baby being born

First time meeting your child born by another and welcoming them into your forever family

Baby’s first giggles

Christmas pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa

Celebrating Christmas and Easter with extended family

A confidant praying over you

Grief of losing a loved one

An ah-ha moment reading the Word

An answer to prayer; a realization that an unanswered prayer was what’s best

Provision from nothing

An unexplained healing

A lost child returning; the fervent prayers preceding

If we were to wrap up all of the above and all the other moments in our lifetime where we experienced unexplainable love and multiply it by an immeasurable number then and maybe then, I think we could begin to understand the love that awaits us.

And this love is possible because of Him who will wipe away our every tear. The same One that keeps track of all our sorrows; collecting our tears in His bottle, recording each tear in His book (Psalm 56:8 (NLT) The same Person that has every hair on our head numbered (Luke 12:7)

The same Jesus who died; willingly, so we wouldn’t miss experiencing such love.

Happy Easter!! May we realize His love for us ever more deeply.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”  Romans 5:8

Heaven Bound

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I don’t know remember when my thoughts of heaven began.  Perhaps the cartoons of chubby, cherubs strumming harps on fluffy, white clouds, was the beginning.  Then surely, Bible stories from Sunday school, with felt figures filled my mind.

It wasn’t until someone very dear to me passed away that my thoughts of heaven ran deeper.  My belief in God, running deeper still, was never questioned but was heaven a place I wanted to spend eternally?

Scriptures about heaven are found all throughout the Bible.  Revelations illustrates a hard to imagine place. “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Yes! I definitely longed for such a life!

Then questions about how can I be sure, I will live eternity in heaven arose?

By then I was learning that Scripture was my most reliable source.

Romans 10:9 held my answer, “’If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”’ 

There is a declaration—I testify, agree, affirm, proclaim and announce that Jesus is my Lord.  Lord over my life.  The way I live is in obedience to the Word of God.

There is a belief—I believe in Jesus, God’s only Son, our Lord. That He was crucified, died and was buried.  That on the third day He rose again!

There is a saving

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8 & 9

In this Truth, I realized that I could stop living to earn my salvation.  That I could stop striving in my own efforts to be ‘good enough.’

Accepting the gift, I look forward to living in such an eternal way.

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

Written by: Cindy Morrone

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement. James 2:12 & 13

It’s easy to detect; like a loud alarm that we can’t shut off.

Every time we think of that person; hear their name; or see them, those overwhelming feelings bring on the noise.

Our peace, quietness, wellness is gone.

Replaced by anger, disappointment and fierce justification.

As the noise rallies on and we bring on others in our protest, we march on in righteous demonstration.

I’ve been on the receiving end of such a rally.  Publicly flogged. Privately mocked.

Forced humiliation and condemnation.

For me, only hurt, a deeper sense of insecurity, and a feeling of shame covered me.

A vicious cycle that tornadoes into a miry pit.

Stuck.

We can all relate, can’t we?  Especially in this culture of all things social.

Just the other day, I fell short.  I did not meet a responsibility.

I toiled and feared and worried about the response.  The person had every right to press into me.  To ensure the assignment was completed.

Instead, I was met with GRACE and understanding.  And my self-worth was relieved and confirmed.

In turn, I did the same for another.  Receiving such MERCY; it overflows, into understanding and a letting go.

The tether that binds, loosens and the noise stops.  Peace rises.

Judgement is left to Another and Love restores.

Happy MERCY giving.