We underestimated you. You have quietly made your way into the hearts of many, generations at a time. Where some people were focused on extreme feelings and actions, you silently grabbed hold of an entire unsuspecting group. You have produced the lie that “ignorance is bliss,” and the lie that has been fed to many, is now becoming a full course meal. You have become one of our greatest unknown enemies.
I see you in the home. I see how you have slithered your way into the hearts of husbands and fathers; wives and mothers; sons and daughters. Your ability to break down the family unit is horrifying, at best. I see your utter delight as families dissipate–or worse yet, just live comfortably with indifference as the spine of their family body.
A Code of Indifference
When I look upon the world, your wicked stain is evident. People are suffering and children dying…very few even shed a tear, while even fewer notice. Slavery, trafficking, murder, starvation, and illness plague nations; you sit silently by in smugness as masses of people follow your lead. You have programmed the hearts of many to react only when it is themselves that suffer, a code of “not my problems, not my worries” by which they live.
I see your handiwork in many places and in many forms. Perhaps the worst and most dangerous place I see you at work, is in the heart of the believer. A group of people, called by His name, turning a blind eye…no, much worse, turning an indifferent eye. They live and work among lost souls and they are surrounded by loved ones who are damned to eternal separation from all that is good and true, the very hell of being separated from the presence of God Himself. Yet, you have convinced them that apathy is better than risking it all – their friendships and relationships, or possibly even their reputations, are not worth sacrificing.
You have settled yourself into the hearts of many, your complacent disease eating away at the masses. Unnoticed is the fact that people from one end of the earth to the other are dying without hope, without rescue, and without ever knowing the One who came to love them and free them from bondage. Apathy, you are doing your work well. Yes, you are doing your work well.
Finally, I feel like it would be best to warn you. You see, your days are limited and your reign is short. There is another group of people, and they are rising up. I see ones who cling to the words of God and not only claim them, but live them out for Kingdom’s sake. You will know them…not just by the words they say, but by what they do, as well.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:10-12
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:9-13
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
The Conquering Redeemer
You see, your hold on us, a people group belonging to the fallen human race, is only possible when we do nothing. But there is One who can destroy you in an instant; in fact, He already has. The thing of it is, people are starting to take notice. People are starting to see your destructive ways and they are claiming His victory over you in their lives. How do I know this? Because I am among those who are being set free from your hold and my family is being rescued from your grasp. I am seeing people mobilize and take action. They see the broken, they see the hurt, they see the injustice and they are rising up against it all; they are rising up against you.
In conclusion, I revisit my opening statement. You were an underestimated obstruction to all things mentioned above, but you were never outside the knowledge of God. This was much to your undoing. Where you meant to destroy, He means to redeem and restore. Where you meant to stagnate lives, He means to rejuvenate and breathe life. Where you meant to inspire to do nothing, He empowers to go and do something. You see, in the end, you lose.
So I bid you farewell, dear Apathy…it is time for you to leave.
The waters, they rise and they fall, their rhythm is melodic. I am at peace. I can see goodness in the sparkle of sun which glints across waters pristine. I feel comfort in its steady and predictable movement. Hope arises in these moments. I float in the security of carefree waters.
But what then, when the waters began to abandon their state of rhythm? The peace, is it there when the cacophonous overtakes the harmoniousness of the waters? When waters are dark and grey, do I still know that which is good? When my boat is rocked dangerously by waters rough and sudden, do I feel the same warm feeling of assurance? Can hope be sustained in the tumultuous moments? When my boat is tossed by waves dangerous and violent, will my world and all that I know be overcome and sink into waters deep?
You rule the raging sea; when its waves surge, You still them. Psalm 89:9 (HCSB)
The Ruler of All. He is the One who can silence the waters. He is the One who remains sovereign through all moments of life. He is the One in whom I trust; He is the One in whom my soul is anchored.
I can rest in His sovereignty. When I am floating on waters safe and sure, I can bask in His goodness. When I am tossed about by the roaring waves, I can cling to His authority. Trust, it is there in the stillness and it is there in the storm. To know His sovereignty in all situations is to be filled with peace that is of perfection. It moves beyond understanding–it is not fear, but comfort. It is not worry, but confidence. It is not doubt, but certainty.
The seas of your life will rage. When they do, is your hope anchored to the One who can still them? Are you being held by steadfast arms through the waters which mean to drown and destroy? Can you find comfort in knowing that whatever the circumstance, you are His and He is yours?
“So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine.” – Oceans (Hillsong United)
He is there and He is waiting. There is no storm too big, there is no wave too high, and no waters too deep. His rescue knows no boundaries and His healing knows no limits. The grace and comfort He holds out to give you is everlasting; it is waiting for you to accept.
What storms of life are you going through right now? How have you found comfort by resting in His sovereignty? How has He carried you through the storm?
Born and raised in sunny San Diego, where I reside with my amazing husband, two spunky kids and our two rambunctious dogs. I am a part time occupational therapist and a full time wife and mommy. I love anything and everything outdoors and love my coffee! I enjoy decorating my home through pinterest and am learning to sew.
Being a mother of two young children, I am realizing there are so many approaches and styles to parenting. I have an undergraduate degree in Child Development and work in the pediatric field. I, of course felt I had a good grasp on all the ins and outs of raising a child based on the books I had read and my experiences at my workplace. I have since realized, there is a lot more to parenting than I had previously thought!
One thing I was not ready for were the “Mommy Cliques.” By mommy cliques, I am referring to the various groups of mommies who I categorize based on their approach or style of parenting. There are the working moms, stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, moms who breastfeed, moms who formula feed, baby wearing mommies, mommies who use strollers, mommies who co-sleep and the list goes on and on.
With today’s resources and social media, there is a plethora of information and knowledge to be gathered by a new mom. I am going to compare this to the first time I registered for baby items before my daughter was born. I was given a list of “must haves” and a bar code scanner. Then, my husband and I were sent to create a list of what we needed for our unborn baby. I was incredibly pregnant, which meant hormones were raging, and neither myself, nor my husband knew what we would really need. To say we were overwhelmed would be an understatement! It can be exhausting to try to decipher through these groups to figure out the “best” way to help my baby.
After subscribing to groups on social media, I saw so much discrimination, disrespect and judgment for varying views of parenting. Not only did I have to sort through all of the information friends, family and colleagues were providing, I also had to sift through Facebook groups, Instagram posts, internet questions, celebrity points of view, etc. It seemed as though everyone had a different opinion. The one thing that held true, was that when a mom didn’t agree with a choice of another mommy, no one held back on telling the other why she was wrong and how her own opinion was the RIGHT one.
I am definitely a proponent for encouraging safety, especially when a new baby is involved. If there is something a mommy is doing that may be unsafe for either her or the baby, by all means, politely and kindly offer suggestions to ensure the safety of everyone. However, if you notice a mommy pull out a bottle of formula rather than breast-feed her baby, please do not judge that mommy. The same goes for the mommy who chooses to breast feed rather than formula feed; please do not judge that mommy.
This is simply one of the “mommy cliques” I have noticed in my very short 3 years of being a mommy myself. Before I make any judgments, I need to first try to put myself in the other parent’s shoes. I do not know all of the facts. I am not aware of the background of the child or the parent. It is so complicated to navigate through life at times. It would be so much easier if we, as moms, could guarantee the support of one another.
New moms have so much going through their minds and should not have to worry about who is judging them for their personal choices on how to raise their most precious blessing. Most of the “mommy cliques” I listed are just that, personal choices the mommy (and daddy) get to make.
Rather than breaking one another down for not having your same views, let’s lift each other up and encourage one another, as Paul discusses in 1 Thessalonians 5. There are many times when a new mommy may need help. Try to show each other love and compassion. Maybe a new mommy has never heard of wearing her baby before, so she chooses to push her baby in a stroller instead. The way the mommy chooses to get her baby around does not change the unconditional love she feels for her child.
Many if not most nights, I wake up to both of my children in our bed. Lets face it, we purchased a king size bed because both my husband and I were falling off both sides of our bed as our children made themselves comfortable. I have heard both discouraging and encouraging remarks regarding how we choose to sleep. Both of our children have their own beds, but they end up in ours at some point during the night. It feels so much better to hear someone encourage me for my choice rather than provide me with negative insight to why it is the incorrect way to raise my children.
I am not saying that I need to constantly be reassured that I am doing something correctly; but sometimes it’s nice to hear a positive response rather than a negative one.
Raising my two babies is turning out to be the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life; but it is also the most rewarding as well. My hope is that everyone can feel comfortable with the choices they make as a parent. I will make mistakes. I make mistakes every day! The important thing is that I am trying to do the best I can to love my children and make the best choices for us. And I believe you are too!
Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Have you ever wanted to do something but then time goes by and you forget about it because you never thought it could be accomplished?
God knows our heart’s desire even if we sometimes forget them.
My story begins when I was a little girl. I went to church where my grandmother was the pianist. I would listen to her play and dream of doing the same. So at the age of five, my mother enrolled me in piano lessons with the best teacher in our little town. I was so excited and practiced endlessly. I went to piano contests and did very well.
But, alas, the teen years arrived and practicing was no longer fun. I didn’t get to learn any fun, contemporary songs, just classical music – Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. I learned some hymns, but not the way a church pianist plays. (Playing from a hymnal is very different from playing classical music. It’s a different skill set, altogether.) My mother soon grew weary of paying for lessons and me not practicing. I quit piano lessons after nine years and gave up hope of ever playing for the church.
My Desire Collecting Dust
Fast forward (cough cough) twenty something years. Although, I still owned my piano, I had only played it a few times while attempting to teach my oldest child to play. The piano was more of a piece of furniture than an instrument in our home.
At this time, we were attending a small congregation when it split. The first Sunday after the split, we gathered at a former member’s home. After our Bible study, we discussed what needed to be done if we were going to form a new congregation. The song leader mentioned that it would be nice if we had a piano player. I did not say anything because I did not believe I played well enough. After all, I had not lifted the cover of my piano in 10 years. The homeowner spoke up and said, “Toni plays the piano.” I was shocked. I didn’t know that she knew about my piano past. All I could say was, “Who says Toni plays the piano?” (I tend to refer to myself in third person when I get nervous.)
I didn’t think much more about that conversation because as far as I was concerned, I could not play the piano. Hymns were out of my realm, or so I thought. Of course, that wasn’t the end of the story. I kept having this feeling and hearing God telling me that I could play. So, I went to a music store and purchased a couple of books and started practicing every spare moment I had. I was driving my family crazy.
The next week, I went to visit the song leader with a yellow sticky note in hand that contained the names of five hymns. I told him God had been dealing with me. I had learned five songs that I would play on Sunday and that I would learn five new songs every week. He was surprised and thanked me. The first time I played, I was so nervous. My husband said that they could not sing fast enough to keep up with my playing!
A Desire of My Heart Realized
Gone are the days that I have to pick out the songs and practice them all week. I have been the church pianist for almost four years now and I know that my grandmother is looking down from heaven smiling that I have followed in her footsteps. God knew my heart’s desire and he opened another pathway for me to serve and worship him. We never know when he will give us our heart’s desire.
What desires from your past might God be trying to wake up in your heart again?