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If I Were to Run Away from Home

I was trying to think and be creative and it hit me. I am tired. Not sure why, but I really am. Totally zoning today as I write. Not much seems to upset me. This alone is a novelty and I’m trying to enjoy it.  But it made me long for the opportunity to run away. Maybe to a Bed and Breakfast where I could sleep as much as I wanted to, eat snacks (except for an exceptionally wonderful breakfast), and maybe even write. There’s one I have in mind that isn’t too far from home that is actually a gorgeous log cabin and each room as a whirlpool tub!  Just a few nights of peace and quite and rest. Yup. That would be sweet.

But then I think about it and if I’m going to run away, shouldn’t I be more creative? How about to St. Louis to visit a dear friend, Amy, who is now a massage therapist! Oh, yeah. Fun with my friend, Amy AND a massage!? Sounds sweet!  Of course I take no kids with me.

Then I think to myself. I’ve never been to New York. To go there with a friend would be an adventure. Facing the new, seeing a Broadway show, visiting Central Park and other things, like the Statue of Liberty and the site of the 9/11 attacks.

Obviously money is not an equation in my dreams of escape.

Ultimately, I’d hop a flight to London.  Heathrow Airport, here I come! To have fish and chips in a pub. To attempt to master the British pound. To take a tour to a castle or two again and get totally whacked out by the drivers going down the left side of the road! Tower of London, cathedrals. I missed Hyde Park last time I was there, so to spend time there would be sweet too. Yup, jolly ol’ England beckons. Probably even more so, as I long to get back into a final edit of “The Virtuous Viscount” to prepare for shopping it around and possible publication I could write about London, while, gasp, in LONDON! Whoa!

I don’t really care about escaping the cold of winter in Wisconsin, although I am feeling a bit chilled right now. It’s more about adventure . . . and a spot of rest. I long for a bit of time away from the daily challenges of being a mom and living my life. I don’t want to be gone forever from my life. . . just take a break from it.

How about you? It’s January and do you have any “cabin fever” already where you long for some adventure and a change from your regular life? If money were no object and you could go anywhere . . . where would you go, and why?

JOY to the World

I have a daughter named Joy, who was born in December. She would have been “Joy” if she had been born in July.  She is a delight and lives up to her name.  She is six now and is beginning to understand that “Joy to the World” is not a song about her. But did you know that it’s not a song about Christmas either?  Isaac Watts wrote the words of “Joy to the World” as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age. It is based on Psalm 98. (Wikipedia)  Can you see his inspiration in this psalm?

 

Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!

His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!

With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!

Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity. (Psa 98:1-9 ESV)

As you ponder a babe in the manger this week, don’t forget that He grew up and died on a cross to satisfy the law’s need for a perfect sacrifice for our sins. This was why He came. He rose again and ascended to heaven. He is alive and preparing a home for us and at any time, He could return! This is true joy for those of us who call Him our King! Let us not be like the sleeping town of Bethlehem, totally unaware and unprepared for a more wonderful advent!

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

W.A.R.

The last few days I have been losing sleep and fretting over some events that I am part of that help a group called Women at Risk, International. (W.A.R.).  I’ll be sharing tonight about the issue of human trafficking and sexual slavery.

I was going to go back to read my blog from August – to refresh myself on what I wrote about this issue, but I’m at my church and the firewall will not let me access the ugly truths I wrote there! Made me laugh as the reality is, what I wrote is not offensive.  However, the very evil I wrote about is.

As you look at purchasing gifts for Christmas – will you consider possibly purchasing a gift that will have an impact on this global and local tragedy? I did. I really couldn’t afford it – but there are women who will never come to understand the reality of a Savior come to earth, Immanuel, God with us, because they are in chains.

Jesus, quoting Isaiah 61, said of himself:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, (Luk 4:18)

You can find out more information at W.A.R International and see their online store. If you are in the Fond du Lac area – stop by Community Church on Saturday morning from 9-noon and check out the beautiful items. Your purchase helps give dignity back to those who have had it so horribly taken from them. You can make a difference in this war!

This is not just an international issue. It happens in Atlanta, Georgia. It happens in Los Angeles and it even happens here in Wisconsin.  It breaks the heart of God and it should break ours.

Pray. Spread the word. Let’s fight this evil together. The lives of women and children depend on it.

The Horror of Sexual Slavery

 

This past Sunday, I got up at church to talk about how our Women’s Ministry had engaged in the battle against the slave-trade globally and locally. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the issue out there, but it is something, a step in the right direction. I believe I heard that one in four women is impacted by sexual abuse/assault of some kind. 25%. I fall into that category. I’m not proud of it and to be honest, it makes it harder to want to engage in the larger war. Not because it’s not worthwhile, it is. But because it forces me to open up a door that sometimes is more comfortable to keep closed and locked by shame. By looking and confronting global issues, I have to wrestle once again with my own pain, violation and what was lost. So if it took me years to come to admit that this global issue needs attention, how much more for all those others who have been impacted in some way shape and form? Amazing how messy we are in our humanness.

Let’s face it. The trading of human flesh (usually female) for the instant gratification of man’s baser needs (money, sex) is inexcusable. The slave trade now is larger than in the day of William Wilberforce. The numbers are staggering and I cannot get my mind around them. I admire the men and women of the International Justice Mission who, one life at time, methodically work the legal system to gain the freedom of so many, and places them in safe houses where they can be loved and recover from the trauma and find peace and hope in the ultimate Savior, Jesus Christ. IJM go into harm’s way to do their work. Evil does not like a light to shine into this darkness and will fight back ruthlessly. Please pray for these people. Support them if you can afford to.

Women at Risk, International also does good work in providing safe-houses and also micro-businesses for women to keep them out of the slave trade – and to help them when they are rescued. Buying the items that these women create out of their pain into something of great beauty is something to behold. These are just two ministries at work; bring people out of darkness and into the love and joy of God’s light. I follow them on facebook and rejoice with every ONE person who is rescued, while grieving that they were ever enslaved to begin with. But this takes place in the United States and we would be naïve to think that our sons and daughters are safe.

Locally we are working with an organization in the town where I live that is front line at the Emergency Room when victims of sexual assault are brought in. We provide practical love and care when they are done and we pray for these women. God knows their names and their need for His love in the midst of their pain. And we pray.

More does need to be done. If only we (and I include myself) could unwrap our little cocoon of safety to stretch ourselves out on behalf of those who cannot. It may mean facing some ugly stuff inside while facing the ugly truths of our world. But it breaks God’s heart – and it should be breaking mine too.