What is Your Megaphone Broadcasting?

I recently watched a sermon from one of my favorite speakers.  It gave me some great perspective!  The entire sermon was built around the question, "When life hands you troubles, your heart is a megaphone.  What is your heart saying to the world?" 

What a concept I hadn't really thought of before.  When someone is struggling and going through troubles and they do not have Christ in their lives, or have not fully put their trust in Him it is often negatives that we hear.  It is depression, frustration, disbelief, and questions as to why God allowed such a thing or if He is even real anymore to them.  Those actions and words are a megaphone to the world.

Opposite is if someone has prepared their heart for such troubles, their heart typically beams things like, "God will work a miracle from this situation, God has overcome the world and will see me through, despite this circumstance I will see better days, or simply their joy and peace radiates through them and is also a megaphone.

Which megaphone would you rather hear from? Which megaphone do you want to be?

When life is going easy and seems like smooth sailing, it is time to prepare for trouble because the bible doesn't say "IF" trouble comes, but "WHEN".  If we are prepared and have the right relationship with Christ and find our peace and motives in Him, then when trouble comes, we are equipped to endure life's troubles in peace. 

I surely was not equipped to endure the wild rapid ride of my crumbling marriage, then divorce, then the struggles of single-parenthood.  It made for a very depressing and frustrating time.  It wasn't until I spent time in God's Word and meditated on the promises that He has for me and for my son that I started to put my trust in him.  Am I prepared for troubles? Well, I would like to think that I am a lot closer to peace during trouble than I used to be.  Every day it is a commitment to spending time in prayer, reading God's Word and keeping my mouth shut and my ears open long enough to hear what He has in store for me.   Many wonderful moments are experienced when I just listen. 

As this season marks the beginning of another year, let's make 2013 be the year of preparation for what our megaphone will be broadcasting when trouble finds us.  Let us also be aware of what message we are currently sending through our life reactions.


Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1: 2-4

Finding the Calm Among the Storms

My heart is broken.  I have no words to describe the deep ache that lies within my soul as a mother, fellow American, and believer in God. The evil or mental illnesses that have perpetuated the horrific crimes this year alone around the world are enough to make even the strongest soul, break. 

The latest of these being the tragedy that became of an entire school in Connecticut this past Friday.  27 total lives were lost because of one man's unknown intentions.  I, like the majority of the world, was devastated at the news. 

My first reaction was to cry, then to pray for the families, then to be honest, my next emotion was anger.  Anger that yet another place where I have little or no control over my son's environment had safety challenged and defeated. I was so angry at the loss that over 20 families experienced that day.  Anger at the lasting mark such a tragedy has left on other little lives, a community, a nation, and ultimately the world.  Anger that such evil exists and that it can penetrate such innocence and purity.

I have never truly felt as if my son was 100% safe.  There is always that lingering possibility that something evil will enter every effort I have to keep him safe.  I think like all parents on Friday, it made this evil in the world just that much more real and left me feeling helpless to the possibility that it could have just as easily been my son in that classroom.  There is really no "safe place". 

So, how do we as parents help our children cope with such a tragedy? How do we give our children a sense of security and covering with a world that is falling apart?   The simplest answer I can give is: truth.  Give them truth. 

After sharing tears of grief together over the lives lost, my son and I talked about good and evil.  We talked about the promises of the bible and how important it was to reach as many people as we could with the good news of Christ.  The promises of His love, grace, and mercy.  As we started to pray for the families affected, my son stopped me and said, "But mom! All of those kids are in Heaven with Jesus!  They are happy!"  What divine understanding in such a young child.

Many parents are reaching for answers and for resources on how to help their kids cope with such a tragedy.  I have done some research on some links provided to me from a friend here at Family Talk.

1) Keep the media away from your child's eyes and ears.  Constantly bombarding them with images and news of the fearful event will be overwhelming and have terrible lasting effects.

2) Pray with them.  Calling upon God and the Holy Spirit to intervene in times that are out of our control will teach our kids to call upon the name of God as well.

3) Renounce Evil.  It is important that children see adults willing to fight against evil and take a stand for good.

4) Look for signs of PTSD in your kids.  Changes in behavior such as acting out, withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, or fear of a similar tragedy happening to them would all need to be addressed with the help of a Christian Counselor.

5) Try to keep them in a routine as much as possible. Keeping the normalcy and predictability will counteract the feelings of confusion and disorientation.

6) Accept your child's emotions for what they are.  Be open to discussing the behaviors in a gentle and understanding way.  Allow them to draw, write, paint, play games, write poetry or write in an journal.  As many outlets as they can have for their feelings the better.

7) Most importantly, tell your children that you love them.  Hold them close to reassure them that you are doing everything you can to protect them.  This reinforces that you are near and you are always available to cover them in your love and embrace.

For adults, we need help coping also.  If you are finding yourself suffering from PTSD, please seek counseling from your Pastor or a local Christian Counselor.  Visit here for a list of counselors.

I'll end this with Psalm 91


Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

God is God and I Am Not

After a very stressful week in all departments of my life, I find myself listening to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman, God is God and am reminded at how little I know about the big picture in my life and situation and just how little control I have over it.

If you have encountered divorce, or single parenting you will be the first to stand with me when I say that you have to submit daily to Christ and to what will "be" from day to day.  As a good friend of mine said, he sits in his chair at the end of each day and says, "We did it.  We made it through another day."  For him, everyday feels like this and for most of us, we can relate.

I remember in college, having high hopes and aspirations of what I wanted my life to look like when I hit my 30's.  My life is absolutely not at all like I had imagined.  Although I would change my situation of being a single parent in a heartbeat if given the chance, I also acknowledge that God has used what became of my life and turned it into an amazing journey of faith and hope. 

Each day I get to wake up to God's calling on my life and situation. I've met so many amazing people who are going through this same journey and it brings joy to my soul to have that deep connection.  What the world intends for evil, God makes good!

We don't always understand what God is doing with us when He places us in situations that do not make sense to us, but trust me that from my experiences, He knows exactly what He is doing.  Everything will work for good for those who trust in Him! 

Making Lemonade

When life hands you lemons, do you make lemonade?  What does that even mean?

In order for you to make lemonade that's any good you would also need sugar and water.  If the "bad" things in life are the lemons, then you would also make lemonade out of the sweet things in life; the sugar.  And don't forget the nourishing things in life; the water.  So theoretically it is impossible to make lemonade out of just the lemons, or the "bad" things in life.

This has never rung so true to me as lately.  I'm personally struggling with a lot of lemons in my life.  Are you making lemonade out of your situations?  We have times of really loving moments, deep connections, and nourishing opportunities within our families.  All the while we are handling situations that no one can comprehend fully, except us.  Each person's situation is different and thus, we get our individual "lemon-situations". 

Alone, the lemons would make a pretty sour drink and at times life can feel very sour.  If we never bring the life ingredients of sugar and water into our situations we will always be encountering the sour taste of life.  If you haven't brought any sugar or water into your life lately, isn't it time?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, 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 4:8 ~