What would your boxers have on them?
“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I took a few minutes to read up on Spurgeon’s life and found that he really did have his share of difficulties in life. He went through all kinds of things, ranging from poor health, to his wife’s poor health, persecution for his preaching, and he even went through a time where he was depressed for a long time! All of my heroes, from Mother Theresa to Amy Carmichael, to King David, to Dad and more, all went through their ‘tremendous difficulties’. No one who amounted to anything did so just by breezing through their life.
We all have our ‘school of Laban’ that we go through in order to grow us up. I was thinking over a few of these Bible heroes lately, thinking of how they had to really hoof it for quite some time, in order to learn patience and really mature. Joseph had his time in prison, learning to be faithful in the little things before he was made ruler. Moses did 40 years of tending sheep before he was trusted with 5 million people. David spent his years fleeing from Saul before he was made king. Even Jesus spent the first 30 years of His life in relative oblivion.
I realize it’s nothing new, but something that’s become very real for me these last few weeks and months. I use the adage, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’, but now it’s true for me too. I wasn’t sure if the time could come when I would look forward to challenges, wanting to succeed in one so that I can move on to the next mountain to climb, but that’s how I feel now. It all has a purpose, every test, every trial, every bit of waiting on the Lord. Sometimes I get impatient because things don’t work out right away, but all the ‘greats’ waited for years to see the fruit of their patience and perseverance. My prayer is that I can continue to grow, learn, and make the most of the times when I have to ‘wait on the Lord’.
I read this interesting article today which went together well with these thoughts I’ve been thinking. I edited it to keep it to the point of the matter.
Depression ‘makes sufferers stronger’ (edited)
By Nic Fleming, Medical Correspondent, Electronic Telegraph
Depression can leave sufferers stronger and better able to cope with life’s challenges, according to a leading psychiatrist.
Dr Paul Keedwell, of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, claims that although the condition causes a great deal of misery, it can also help people become more resilient and lead to great achievements.
Dr Keedwell said: “Essentially, depression can give us new and quite radical insights. It can give us a way of responding effectively to challenges we have in life.
“In its severe form it is terrible and life-threatening, but it can help people to find a new way of coping with events or your situation, and give you a new perspective, as well as making you more realistic about your aims.”
Dr Keedwell, who suffered a spell of depression in his thirties, said that some long-term research, particularly a recently published Dutch study, suggests that, following their depression, many patients are better able to cope with life’s challenges.
“For most, their vitality, their social interaction and their general health actually improved on recovery, and so did their work performance.
“I know from patients that it can also make you more realistic in your outlook. You develop more empathy to those around you.”
Speaking of his own experience, he added: “It went on for months, but I did come out of it, and I think I was a better doctor as a result.”
It’s that lovely time of year–my favorite–when the sun starts to shine more, days are longer, trees start to get green, flowers are blooming, everything is twitterpated, and ‘love is in the air’. Of course, I’ve used enough tissue to qualify for a small landfill, my nose is serious competition for Rudolph, my eyes probably glow in the dark, and as much as the kids love looking at flowers, my first thought is, “run!”.
Other than that, we’re excited. We have nearly enough funds and we’re planning another trip to Berlin next week to apply for the visa now that my papers arrived. I wanted to say thanks to those who have fasted and prayed for us so far. I can’t really fast, but I’ve had a month’s fast of worldly input and used the time to read, pray and get closer to the Lord through all He’s teaching me. I’ve been working on scanning our paper photos, putting the girl’s school records into a file (so I have less books to lug along), and getting things ready for the long trip. Any prayers for the preparations are appreciated. We still need funds, we need to find out how to get our luggage there, and the timing needs to be right on with the Lord’s timetable.
Yes, I know, it’s not ‘official’ yet, but it’s the first day that really felt like spring since we’ve been here. It’s been warmer lately sometimes, so things have started to blossom (and for anyone wondering, yes, I do have hay fever again, though thankfully not quite as bad yet as years past. Maybe it’s that the plant life here is slightly different, or it hasn’t hit me full on yet). I took the kids out, as you can see, with no jackets and soon even the sweaters were too warm, so it was just long shirts we needed.
Jordan couldn’t stop running the whole time.
Beautiful CC taking a rest at the top of the hill.
The lovely Cherise takes in the beauty around her.
The snow drops started blossoming about 2 weeks back, but there are still plenty to be seen.
Jordan is pensive as he contemplates if he likes straw or not and why does there need to be straw when it cuts his hand?
Quite a few gardens were already in full bloom with the daffodils coming in shortly. (they’re called Easter bells in German as that’s when they traditionally bloom. I guess since Easter is early this year, they decided to be early too!)
With the gang…
We took the kids out witnessing on Saturday. They had a great time and thankfully it was sunny as well! Here we stopped for a lunch break.
No, Oma isn’t on this pic, but it’s a cutie anyway…
These little boxes were so smart! It saved Jo and I getting a back ache from trying to keep him on his feet. He got very good at it, letting go towards the end and doing all kinds of ‘stunts’ with the thing!
There were plenty of these too. He was posing for a pic and just slipped. He’s so used to climbing around and falling, most of the time, he just got right back up and continued as if nothing had happened. He’s not bruised in the slightest, thank God!
After some time with the boxes and some encouragement from CC and I, Cherise soon had the hang of it again (it’s been a year, after all) and was zipping around with the rest of us.
The gang. I was taking pix that day, not having pix taken of me (don’t ask!).
Here he goes! There is no sound as it was taken with Jo’s cam, but it’s cute anyway. Note the way CC’s mouth never stops moving, ha!
On my birthday, everyone took some time to hear from the Lord for me (best gifts!). Most was personal, but I wanted to share the one CC got for me. She has a wonderful gift and often uses it to get encouragement for others.
“I love you so much. This year will have lots of challenges, but lots of fun things too. I just wanted you to know I love you. I thought you might want to know what we are doing for your birthday. Well, we are having a big party and we thought that since you’re having an ice-cream cake, we’ll have one too. Our theme is water, so the table is floating on the water at a big lake. We are eating all your favorite food (must have been lots of spicy stuff on the menu, mostly Thai and Indian 😀 ) in honor of you. On the tablecloth is a picture of you (hope it’s a good one 😛 ) Well, I just wanted to tell you we all remember you on your birthday. All the best, Jesus and your spirit helpers.”