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January 21, 2012

"The choices we make ....


dictate the lives we lead " ...... (Danny DeVito in Renaissance Man)


This has been a reoccurring theme in my life the last few weeks ...  and particularly this morning! Someone's choice impacted my life -- poor honey had to go to work in the wee hours of the morning (after multiple phone calls .. thank you for that!) because of someone elses choice to be irresponsible. 

So often we tend to think that our choices are ours alone, and to a certain extent they are and YET ..... everyone else around us is impacted too from the simple to the complex.... 

I'm sure the soldier who went out drinking last night to have fun never considered how his choice might impact others or possibly himself -- everyone in the Company having to come in early on a Saturday morning, lack of sleep for our family, extra paperwork for leadership, our Battalion "name" on the reader board on post,  not to mention the example he has set/ruined for those under his leadership, his own driving record and legal record and even his own job prospects in the future ....... (going out isn't the issue, the choice to drive afterwards is!)

Or the young man who lies for fear that others might not love/want him,  trying so hard to live up to a standard imposed by others that he feels he must be perfect ..... ends up becoming the very thing he tried so hard not to be ..... and now must bear the consequences of broken relationships, school issues, shame, etc ., even as he seeks to make things right ... knowing others may reject him anyways ....

What about Sarah? In Genesis she chose out of sheer desperation and longing for acceptance to have a baby through another woman .... I'm sure she had no idea the impact that choice would have  - unrest in the Middle East even today! 

Peter -- who lied with Jesus standing RIGHT THERE! ... and said "I do not know him..." even as the words left his mouth did he wish he could take them back? Once the fear of man and physical death subsided and He looked into the eyes of the one he had betrayed? ..... the magnitude of what he had done must have been soul crushing .... 

And Yet ..... God can redeem each of these situations if they are handed to Him! 

Sarah is listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews, which gives me hope! Peter was restored by Christ himself the exact number of times he lied ..... and became a pillar of faith! 

What about the daily choices we make? 

~To respond kindly instead of harshly to my husband when he irritates me or needs me to repeat myself! 
      ~Lovingly & firmly correct my child, instead of yelling out of frustration 
           ~To CHOOSE my words instead of just speaking without thinking, to be cognizant of what others may hear in what I say       
               ~To hold others accountable but with arms of love and faith around them instead of banishment, frustration or anger 
                 ~Choosing to beleive that God can and WILL bring good out of our brokenness, ...   
                     ~ Allowing my children to choose for themselves  what they will do and then loving them anyway, training them and myself that you really do reap what you sow (Gal 6:7-8).... 
                       ~ Continuing to pray and trust  even when all seems lost

The Bible says in Proverbs: 
  "There is a way that appears to be right,
   but in the end it leads to death."   

       Death of dreams ... relationships... hopes .... and sometimes even physical death.

But there is another way .... Jesus says he is that way and will help us to choose the right....

And no it isn't easy at all ... it's so much easier to respond when I am hurt with anger and pain rather than from a place of mercy ...

          a mercy which forgives and yet is wise holding firm to God's word, 

             mercy that is willing to walk through the consequences with you and love you anyways .... 

                      because isn't that what God does for us? ....


"Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won." .... Cadet's Prayer, USMA West Point 


 ...........because our choices do indeed dictate the lives we lead!

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Thoughts

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)