A Note to the Quiet Christian

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Are you worried that you might offend some of your non-Christian friends? Ashamed to say, “I will pray for you” and rather just tell them your thoughts are with them?

Take a moment, Christian friend.

God is first. When you are quiet about Him, when you avoid any reference to Him, you are making the world first. You are making society your God. It is not enough to quietly believe. If your life does not reflect that faith, one might even question if the Holy Spirit is there at all. There ought not to be any shame in your belief.

Our God is so great, surely He deserves more than our spare table scraps. A quick, generic prayer before bed certainly shouldn’t be the  extent of your interaction with Him.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” -Romans 1:16

 

Notes and Thoughts on Sin

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Being Christian doesn’t make anyone perfect. But we are forgiven for our sins.

In accepting Christ as Lord and savior, we are transformed and in turn our faith encourages us to live more Christ-like. If someone truly has given their life to the Lord, they will turn from sin.

But we must be aware. Be careful not to fall into another sin of spiritual pride having a superiority complex. The fact that you have turned from addiction does not make you better than anyone else.

Let me never forget that I did not save myself. Without God I am wandering blindly. I need His grace to keep me in check. Always praying. Break my pride and repair me.

God, help me.

Blurred Memories – How Alcohol Killed My Past

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I drink moderately on occasion. And that’s a few times a year. That is nothing like my life before.

Before moving in with Joe, my life is a blur. When trying to recall moments, places, or people from before 2009, memory goes gray and I hear music in my head much like a fast heartbeat. Boom boom boom boom So gray. Flashes of moments.

Drinking down the pain.

In 2001 I remember being in my apartment, locked in my room with a bottle of cheap vodka on my desk. While everyone slept, I chatted online and drank until I blacked out. That was when much of it began. It got to a point where I didn’t want to do anything without a drink first. I couldn’t watch tv without a beer. I couldn’t camp without beer. I couldn’t hang out with friends without getting drunk.

Sometimes people talk to me as though I have known them for a long time. I am sure I probably should know them. But I don’t know their names. And I don’t know if I saw them every night or maybe just once when out getting a tattoo.

It took years to adjust to not living with a drink in hand. I may not be “the life of the party,” but I remember what I’ve done and people I have met. I know where I live. Things aren’t so bad when I can feel…. when I don’t numb everything and blur it out.

Alcohol could have been the death of me. I could have died trying to drive home, or because someone wanted to take advantage of me. Clinging to a bottle of booze was not worth what I was sacrificing for a drink.

Without God, I could not be who I am today. It was through a lot of prayer that I learned to let go of my addiction and learn to truly live life. I believe wholeheartedly that I might be dead if not for his saving grace.

 

Finding Comfort When a Dear One Passes

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Tonight is the viewing for my husband’s Memaw, a sweet woman who lived to be 90 years of age. This will not be my daughter’s first funeral, but now that she’s 3 years old, it might be the first she remembers. I was not terribly close to Memaw simply because when I met her she was already losing her memory and would often forget things from minutes before. She had a gentle soul.

We visited her the night before she passed. We knew it was coming. We told her we loved her. My daughter sat by her side almost the whole time, chatting with the nurse. It was a quiet night as we passed photographs around and I listened to their stories told in soft tones. Eyes gazed into the distance, recalling fond moments.

My daughter knew Memaw was very sleepy and not feeling well. When Memaw passed we gently told her that she went with Jesus to her home in Heaven. That she isn’t sick anymore and will never have “owies” again. She took it very well. And even when we went back to the same room where Memaw was sleeping the night before, my daughter said to everyone, “Memaw is with Jesus now. She not sick nooo more.”

I was asked if I’d like to say something. Tell a story. So today I put a bit of thought together and wrote a brief note:

“The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18

I only knew Hellen, “Memaw,” for a short time, but there is no doubt she lived a rich life of Christian conviction. She was gentle and modest and she did a wondrous job teaching Christian values to her children.

I could only hope to be half the woman she was.

The night before Memaw passed away, Joe,our children and I visited her. We spent several hours at her side. I prayed for easy transition. For peace and comfort to the family. For us all to feel God’s presence.

The next day, before I was even told, I felt sudden peace in my heart. I knew she had gone, and I thanked the Lord for tellng me and for being so merciful and full of grace.

The Bible teaches us that when a believer dies, she’s immediately in the presence of Jesus. Isn’t that a great comfort? She will no longer suffer but instead know the joy only God can give.

Let God’s love sustain us. Although you may feel incredible pain, don’t ever doubt that God loves us and has deep compassion and grace for those who faithfully follow Jesus.

What Life Brought in my Past 4 Years

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Another blogger posted at Mommy Monologues about what all has happened in the past 4 years.

I could definitely relate. My blog is also around 4 years old, and a lot has changed. It’s why my blog has gone from being called “Renegade Ruby” to “Trucks to Cradles.”

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In that four year span, Joe and I have driven to 46 of the United States. Some of that time I was pregnant with Liberty. I then stayed home for a few months until she was born.

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Liberty was born and I became a stay-at-home mom.

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Joe and I got engaged.

I became pregnant with Charlie.

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Joe and I got married.

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Charlie was born 4 weeks early by emergency c-section.

There were many doctor visits that ended in praise to God. 

I was baptized and became a member at our local church.

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We got a puppy.

I’ve made new friends and have grown very thankful for old friends.

And many family gatherings in celebration of our lives.

The past four years have tested my faith and confirmed God’s grace.

I look forward to every amazing moment to come.

 

A Quiet Revelation

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Stress.

And I find myself desperate for a strong drink. Something. Something to calm me quickly before I scream at someone.

I shut the door.

I closed my eyes. And in that quiet moment reflected on what is causing me to feel and react this way.

I heard it. “Ruby, you want so badly to prevent yourself from being tired. You think your routine will make it easier. Has it made it easier? Whenever you force everyone else to abide by your routine, you get agitated and stressed out. Then, you just feel even more tired. Let it go. Give it to God. You will find the kids won’t cry as much when you aren’t pushing them into your selfish mood schedule. And as a result, your mood will change. Then, you will feel the joy you have been trying to earn on your own.”

I must stop blaming everyone and everything else for my anxiety. I create it. Out of fear. And fear is not of God.