Friday, July 17, 2009

Thorns or Berries?

We interrupt the vacation posts for some deep thoughts, reflections and dare I say, revelations, that I have been entertaining the last few days. The other night the girls had been feeling kind of sad and left out about a few things that they have been going through. So, I shared a story with them out of a kid's devotional book about a girl and her little sister picking berries. The little sister scratched herself on the sharp thorns of the berry bush and called it a bad, bad bush. The mom reminded the older sister that little sis had been enjoying the sweet, delicious berries just minutes before, but now she was only concerned with the "bad, bad bush" that had hurt her. The heart of the story and our new tag line around the house is "Are you thinking about the thorns or the berries?".

It's been a rough summer. I won't deny it. A multitude of conflict has left me feeling defensive and suspicious. The Husband's job has been a tremendous strain on us as a family. GAS went to stay at my mom's house for a weekend and then called a week later to say she wasn't coming home. My mom and a friend came a week later and packed up her stuff. GAS's explanation to other people was that she sat in her room alone and we never took her anywhere. Part of that is true, she did choose to sit in her room alone many times (perhaps the chaos of our house was a bit overwhelming) but we did take her wherever she asked to go and I did my best most days to give her what she needed and include her as a part of our family. I have no idea what she was thinking to have done this to us after pouring so much love and kindness into her. Every day that she's been gone I wonder if I had done things differently, would she still be here? And, I've grown weary of being at war with my mother time and time again. I'm trying to make this an attempt at reconciliation, because quite frankly, I don't think things can get much worse in our family. Pretty soon Jerry Springer is going to come knocking on our door to do his show.....sorry, I laugh about it so I don't cry!

However, I have been trying to look at the "berries" this week, not the thorns. God never promised us a "thorn-free" life on earth, but He did give us the "berries" to enjoy. The Husband's job is certainly not what we had envisioned it to be, but at least he has a steady income. Even though it hurt the way GAS left here with no good-bye, at least she is where she wants to be, and to a degree, some of my burden has been lifted having to care for her. Even though the kids go through hurts and disappointment with other people and situations, there are still many good things for them to think about. We talked about Romans 8:28:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

I guess that means we should embrace the thorns with the berries since it is ALL included in God's master plan!


Anonymous said...

Yeah...that's good...while, difficult to swallow at times.

I think it's interesting the many different ways Romans 8:28 is translated in our English translations.

The NIV says that in all things God works for the good... God does the work...

While the NASB says God causes all things to work together for good... God causes it to work...

The ISV for those who love God...all things are working together for good... the things work....

KJV: that all things work together for good...

In so many words togetherness - unity - or the comprehensiveness of all that life has to offer - will not be surpassed by the goodness that God will work through, in, and among His people.

I don't know...just rambling.

Glad you had a nice trip! :)

Livin' Life said...

I have heard that about Roses & their thorns too. I will be praying. It feels like I am reading a post from my own life as I read yours. I have very similar hurts from my family that we now 6 years from speaking with. I am so sorry but know I will be praying.