Reincarnation?

I want so much to be a universalist, to believe that because you love everyone and want everyone to accept you, they eventually will, that you NEVER give up on anyone, that your love really does win everyone to you.

Perhaps that’s why when I saw an article about a Christian mother whose son has vivid  memories of a past life, convincing her and others that he indeed lived that life and reincarnated as her son, I was surprised by my own reaction. Whereas I am usually a skeptic, I found myself inexplicably drawn to this story.

I know you’re big enough to handle any question, stronger than any of my doubts or fears. Still, I wonder if I’ve crossed an invisible line. Have I, in my longing to understand all that you are, wondered about something that would cause you to reject me?

There is no doubt, fear, or question that can separate you from my love.

When I listen to your voice in my heart, I hear only love. In you, I see love personified. But when I read much of the Bible, I see an angry, vengeful God, one who puts to shame all who reject him and eventually casts them into a lake of fire.

How can these two pictures describe the same God? How can you say you want everyone and yet at some point give up on so many people?

What makes me special? Is it just because I prayed a prayer as a child? Is this act of mine all that separates me from “the second death”? The verses I read this morning seem to point to a person’s eternal destiny depending on what they do in this life. But so much of what we do or choose depends on where or when we’re born, how we’re raised, and what we encounter in life. You say you judge with equity, but that doesn’t sound at all equitable to me.

So I have begun to consider the idea that people reincarnate to give them many chances to find you. But so much of what I read in the Bible seems to rule out that idea. When I think of reincarnation as a real possibility, I feel a great love for all people, even those who have wronged me. When I return to these verses about your wrath and judgement, a sense of division and contempt returns. My heart says love points in the right direction, but the Bible seems to point in another. This is a huge issue for me. Please help me sort it out.

What if I give someone every possible opportunity, and in every case, they simply don’t want me? I won’t force myself on them. Am I to indefinitely hold off my promises to those who love me in order for the outliers to have a chance, yet another chance, to change their minds? Do you not agree that there must come a time when enough is enough?

Yes, I suppose so.

And at that point, what is to happen to them? Are they to live eternally in some sort of void in which I, love personified, am not? Would that not in itself be cruel? They don’t want me. Do I simply ignore this? Or do I show them mercy by allowing them to cease existing, to die one last time? And when death and my enemies are no more, I can finally fulfill my promises to those who love me.

But what about equity? Can one go-around on this planet possibly be enough for everyone to have a chance to find you? And what about the stories about people who have seemingly lived before? Am I to just chalk it up to demons as the church teaches?

Whether in one life or many, can you believe that as I do judge with equity, and I do see everyone’s heart, that I do give them every possible chance to find me?

Yes, I can believe that.

Then just trust me with the details.

That last sentence doesn’t sound like you. It sounds more like something I would say.

I know you do trust me, but your heart is filled with many questions. Give me time to show you more. I do care about your questions and want to answer them. But you are bound by time, and I can work with that.


Please view my next post to learn how God used time to clarify many things for me.

Photo credit: Marketa, https://www.flickr.com/photos/toffee_maky/7928636728.

 

The Rut of Comparison

Sometimes I feel like such a good mom, like I can do no wrong and easily meet every need. Not today. I feel so inadequate, weak, and hopeless. I am so concerned about the deficits I see in my children, and I blame myself for them. I compare myself to other moms and my children to their children, and I only see their shortcomings. This makes me harder on myself and harder on them. But this can’t be the right way to handle these feelings. It doesn’t help anyone, and it hurts everyone. How do I handle these feelings then?

Do you think I compare one flower with another? Do I criticize the late bloomers? Or do I simply enjoy them each for what they are? A rose will not bloom sooner if I am angry with it. It blooms in its time and in its way, and it pleases me by doing so. I enjoy all the steps in the process, and I love it no less as a bud than in full bloom.

So it is with you. You couldn’t be more pleasing or loved today if you were any way but as you are. Your children and you delight me today as much as you will when you are more mature. It’s you I love, not just who you have been or who you will be, but you, today, in all the glory that IS you today. You can’t make me love you more or less. You are already ALL that I want you to be today.

And when you remember this, and see yourself and your children as I do, you will cease striving and simply enjoy the beauty around you and within you.

Welcome!

Ever wished you could ask God a question? Wanted his advice on a specific aspect of life?

The fact is, a growing number of people are discovering that we can ask God anything, and he will answer! It’s called listening prayer, and it has become the most enlightening and healing thing in my life.

What you will read here are some of the conversations I have with God about my life and family. God’s answers to me are meant for me and may not apply to your specific situation. But don’t be surprised if you see something that triggers his voice in your own heart. He is longing to speak to you too.

I don’t pretend to have any special knowledge of God, just a heart that longs to hear what he says and share it with others who may benefit. Mostly, I hope to inspire you to listen to God for yourself.

If you are interested in learning to hear God’s voice, check out my About page for a great video to get you started.


Photo Credit: Vic, https://tinyurl.com/jwp7n32.

A Math Meltdown

Yesterday was really hard with my third grader and her homeschool. She does fine until we get to math. Then she freezes up before she even sees the first question. I feel like I hover too much, like I haven’t given her the chance to really succeed on her own. Last week, when we did the place value cups, she soared! She really got it, and she felt so good about her accomplishment! But yesterday, she froze. What’s going on, and how do I help her? How can I build her confidence in math?

Peace. Be still. The storm is raging in you and in her. Your desire to see her succeed is putting pressure on her. She does need to know she can do it without your help. Take a break from your math curriculum for a while. Let her play online math games. Let her build her confidence in a way that she enjoys.

Take some deep breaths, mama. Don’t blame yourself for where she is. She is moving along the path that I have prepared for her. She is exactly where I want her to be right now. Don’t pressure her to take your path or strive for some arbitrary norm.

Look at my creation. You won’t find a “box” anywhere. I don’t put things in boxes. I don’t demand uniformity. Remember the waves. I love diversity. Be who you are. Let her grow at her own pace. Simply delight in her as she is today. Watch her thrive!

Follow up: Today went much better as I flowed with her energy and interest levels. She enjoyed playing math games online, and said she learned five new things! Success! Thank you, God.


Photo credit: R. Nial Bradshaw, https://tinyurl.com/mea9ofh.

Rhythms of Grace

Good Morning, God. I keep thinking about the incident with my daughter last night. I’m sensing part of her anger toward me is related to the new limits I have placed on Internet use and that I’ve linked it to helping out around the house. Give me insight and help me understand how to restore connection with her.

There are rhythms to grace. The waves crash on the shore in an unending cycle, year after year. Tides rise and fall. Storms come and go. One wave is higher or lower than the next. So it is with your expectations. They are always there, consistent, steady. But one day they may be high, another low. Don’t try to force your children into daily sameness. Let them surge when motivated and rest when needed.

Show yourself the same rhythms of grace. Don’t try to work up a high tide when it just isn’t there. You will find my expectations of you are also as the waves. I know when you are ready to surge and when you need to rest. I allow for these cycles. In fact, I created them. And I created you and your children to flow with them. Get familiar with the rhythms of grace. Watch them. Listen to them. Flow with them like a child playing in the waves. Yes, life can be this fun!

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