Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The name word/name ‘Jesus’ means a lot to me. My faith is based upon it. It brings me comfort in times of need. In light of the trials that I am currently going through, I have found myself calling out to Jesus, lately, more than I have in months. When I have bad dreams, or am afraid, I always says the name of Jesus out loud. When I feel I am under spiritual attack, I say His name aloud. In fact, just the other night I had a nightmare that I could not seem to wake up from. I started saying “Jesus” in my sleep. I said it until I woke myself up, muttering it. His name always seems to ease my fear. Incidentally, Caleb happened to have crawled into my bed to sleep with me that night. My muttering must have woken him up too, because he reached out and touched my arm and said, “I love you, Mom.”

Emmanuel. I have heard that word all my life. I grew up with a Pastor Father, and went to Christian school from grade school through college; so of course, I know that word well. I have sung songs with that word in the lyrics. I have heard the word used in many sermons. I have read it many times in the Bible. I have learned that Emmanuel is the name Mary gave to Jesus upon His earthly birth. It never meant much more to me than that, though, it is an important word. A name. It is a cool name. I like that name.

This morning, in reading a very simple scripture verse, Matthew 1:23, I had an epiphany. I have read that verse so many times over the years. But this time, the deeper meaning behind that word/name jumped out at me... Emmanuel means “God with us”. How come I never “got it" before reading it again just a bit ago? This time, I got goose bumps all over when I read it. For the first time ever, I have realized: Jesus’ very name means “God with us”! His very name means He is God and He is always with me! .....His. Very. Name.

My present trials seems so small to me right now, because I know and love Emmanuel! And I am known and loved by Emmanuel! He is with me! He knows my life, heart, thoughts and dreams. He knows my fears, faults, failings and worries. HIS VERY NAME brings me comfort and peace on this day, for He is with me.

Digging into the Greek and original transcripts of the Bible, you will find there are countless words used to name, describe or characterize God/Jesus. But today, the one that is bringing me a deep sense of tranquility comes from such a simple, yet dramatically enlightening verse. God’s name defined; is love, comfort, rest and peace. ...He is with me. What more could I possibly want or need? That’s not even a question. If it is a question, it’s certainly a rhetorical one.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Faith through Times of Trial

For me, things are crazy right now. So many unknowns. So many changes. So many possible negative outcomes. Why do I let myself dwell on the what-ifs? Have I somehow over the years become a pessimist, who automatically finds her thoughts drifting to the worst-case scenario in the face of adversity? I remember when I was the perpetual optimist, to the point of being blinded and naive, at times. I kinda miss that person. I don't like these feelings I am feeling. How can I know I serve a sovereign and loving God, and then realize I am subconsciously rebelling against Him, due to thoughts of "How could He have allowed this and that to happen to me, if He truly loved me?" I'm so much smarter than that. I'm not sure why I let feelings of doubt and defeat creep in.

I know I'm not a "Super Christian", but I do love and have faith in Christ. I'm nowhere near perfect or holy, but I know He loves me anyway. My own thoughts of self-worth and need for perfection are issues I have placed upon myself, or have had placed upon me over the years, which I am battling against. I constantly beat myself up in my never-ending battle to "Be holy as I am holy", as He says in His Word. It seems I'm not even close, no matter how hard I try. It's then I am tempted to just give up the fight. But... The important thing I need to remember in my relationship with Him is that He does not say, "Come to me all who have got their sh** together and never let the stresses of life get to them". No.... He said, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy laiden, and I will give you rest." Can't remember the reference. Been too long since I've deeply poured myself into the Word. Been too long since I've been able to go to church, also. That's another personal "issue" I need to get beyond.

*Sigh* ...Tough times right now for sure, but I am going to, once again; choose to be thankful for all the blessings I have been given... my children, my family, my friends, etc. I will choose to do only what I can do to improve my situation, and in Faith, leave the rest... the future... in His almighty hands. The alternative is a dark one, for me. My only peace is in knowing God is better at being God than I am, then in letting Him lead.

...Had a really encouraging talk with a close family member this morning. Sometimes you need a kind little kick in the butt to remind you of what you already know, but are somehow unable to see in the fog of uncertainty and fear. He has equipt me with the gift of choice. I can chose to wallow in self-pity and get stressed and consumed by the vast gulf of unknowns and what-ifs before me... OR... I can chose to take the steps which are within my control, disallowing myself to become anxious about those things that are outside of my control.

In sitting down to do my devotions just after this talk, the daily devotional I was reading, once again had the perfect word at the perfect time. I had to share it. Who knows... maybe someone else out there has the same struggles as I do, and needs the same re-reminder, enlightenment, or encouragement.

Please pray for me and my children. We deeply believe in the power of prayer, and have witnessed miracles happen. ...And if you send me a message with your prayer request, I promise to pray to for you to. For the record, I'm not just one of those people who says, "I'll pray for you", cuz' it sounds thoughtful and nice to say. If I say I will pray for someone, I really will. Anyway, I digress. Here's the things I wanted to share:

Devotional for Every Day of the Year “Jesus Calling” ~ Sarah Young

October 21

To live in My presence consistently, you must expose and expel your rebellious tendencies. When something interferes with your plans or desires, you tend to resent the interference. Try to become aware of each resentment, however petty it may seem. Don’t push those unpleasant feelings down; instead, let them come to the surface where you can deal with them. Ask My Spirit to increase your awareness of resentful feelings. Bring them boldly into the Light of My Presence, so I can free you from them.

The ultimate solution to rebellious tendencies is submission to My authority over you. Intellectually you rejoice in My sovereignty, without which the world would be a terrifying place. But when My sovereign will encroaches on your little domain of control, you often react with telltale resentment.

The best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all good things--your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, your time--are gifts from Me. Instead of feeling entitled to all these blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!

Psalm 139:23-24...
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: test me and know my anxious thoughts, See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I Peter 5:6...
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Job 1:21...
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

...and adding to that devotional, my personal favorite:
I Peter 5:7
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”
(New Living Version)

....and another one He recently showed me (again), which I needed:
Luke 12:22-26...
“....Jesus said, “So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life -- whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For life consists of far more than food and clothing (or homes or cars or jobs or paychecks or possessions). Look at the ravens. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?”
(New Living Version)

Friday, October 14, 2011


My heart breaks for my Grandmother. And for the whole Grossman family. My Uncle Sam died in a car accident last week. This is the 2nd son my Grandmother has lost in less than 2 years. Both were untimely deaths (from an earthly perspective).

I miss both my Uncle Mark, and my Uncle Sam. I did not get enough time with them. I did not give enough hugs, nor say enough “I love you’s”. They lived in Minnesota, and I live in California. I only saw them each a handful of times over the years, and was a very young girl all but one of those visits. When I did visit my family in Minnesota, I must have been busy playing with cousins and doing outdoorsy, Grossman things. In hindsight, I did not take enough time to sit down with either of my uncles, who are now gone from this world forever. I very much wish I could turn back the clock, so that I could just hang out with them... and say all of those things I never had the opportunity to say... hear all of those things I never had the opportunity to hear. I wish I knew them better. I wish I was able to experience more family time with them. But those wishes are futile. Death has taken them, and opportunity has escaped me.

In my sadness over their death, I cannot even begin to imagine how it would feel to lose your own child. How my Grandmother must be aching! What a vast void she must feel. Her heart must be overwhelmed with the very worst kind of sorrow.

This causes my mind to turn to thoughts of “what-if".... What if I were to lose one or all of my beloved babies? My children are my whole world. They are my joy. Their spiritual, emotional and physical health and well-being are of utmost importance to me. God gave me the role of being their mother, and I am beyond blessed to have that opportunity. I have such an indescribable love in my heart for my children. ...The thought of losing one of them is enough to make me feel sick with despair. I cannot even fathom the thought. If I were to lose one of them, I am quite certain my heart would literally stop beating forever. My children are my most significant “purpose”. All of these thoughts grant me an earnest sense of empathy for Grandma Max. How my heart aches for her.... oh, the loss and devastation she must feel.

I lack maturity in my comprehension of death. I realize we are mortal, and I know that each of us will die at some point. But my sensitive heart cannot bear the concept of loss. I love. I love with extreme depth and intensity. Not being able to love someone I am very close to at heart ,due to their life being taken away; well, that is a challenge I have not yet been able to properly intellectually process.

Sometimes I wish I were more like other people. So many people I know have the ability to disallow themselves to become too close to another person, so as to thwart potential heartache or loss down the road. Some of those people I know have become so adept at throwing up those internal walls, that they are now actually incapable of comprehending or feeling real love. Nothing short of a miracle can soften a heart that is as hardened as that. Yes, those people feel less pain. Yes, I’d love to feel less pain too.... but at the expense of not feeling and experiencing love?? You know what, on second thought, I don’t want to be like those people. Knowing true joy, deep love and profound inner peace far outweighs the benefit those people have of getting to feel numb in the face of loss.

I am going to continue on my journey in this life, to be love, and to be a light in this dark and self-serving world. I am not going to stifle my heart. I am not going to deny my tears. I will remain the passionate and emotional being that I have been created to be. I will pray that God will somehow show me how to process feelings of grief in the wake of heartache and loss. I will try my best to come to grips with death. It will surely be a daunting task. God, give me wisdom.

I am praying for my Grandmother today, that God will give her wisdom as well. And emotional healing, understanding and a brimming peace that will swallow up her grief.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rainbow Song

How imperfect the world is.
Such afflictions. Such woes.
I know this life pains You.
It is not what You chose.
For free-will and choices
Seem a curse, though a gift.
Yes, hardships are imminent,
But my spirit does lift
At the thought of how Your death
Has altered my life.
Because You shed Your blood
(Sweet, selfless sacrifice),
I now can know true Joy,
In spite of this trial.
How can I let these tears
Supercede why I smile?
Please show me, assure me,
Remind 'til it lasts,
The knowledge that You will
Bring beauty from ash.
I will rest in awareness;
There’s a song in this pain.
You have promised a rainbow.
I will hope through the rain.