Empty Nest

I knew that one day all my children would grow up, get married, and start a family of their own. Our youngest child married his beautiful bride about a week ago.

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This is the first time in 33 years that we have no children living at home— we have an “empty nest.”  Raising a family was not an easy task; our job was to teach by example, to show what a marriage ought to look like, and to demonstrate what parents should do for their children.

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Some of you might be struggling with crying babies, with toddlers in their “terrible twos,” or with high-maintenance tweens or teens. Keep in mind that this is all temporary. Your baby will stop teething and sleep through the night, your toddler will learn how to share and be kind, your tweens and teens will learn responsibility and care for others so enjoy the “now.” “Consider it nothing but joy…” (James 1:2, AMP).

When I look back at all those years that we invested in our children and then to see them with their family today, I know that we have done our job— “…with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NIV).

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Copyright © 2018 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti
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Get Up and Run!

My first half marathon was a little disappointing for me because my body crashed at mile 10 and I felt I could have made a much better time, but my time in subsequent runs kept getting worse. The one I ran last month was my worst, granted I wore shoes I usually don’t wear and it was cold and rainy and I had leg cramps during the run, but it discouraged me so much.

I didn’t want to run again because I had such a horrible experience, but about a couple of weeks afterwards, I realized that I couldn’t let that last run stop me from running—I had to keep going. Now I am learning how to run all over again, starting slowly and finding the joy in running.

I thought about how our Christian walk can falter— maybe we had a bad experience with someone at church and we stopped attending worship, maybe we had the intention of reading through the Bible in a year and after a few months we stopped— anything we wanted to do to grow but the opposite happened. Sure, we can “quit” but how is that beneficial?

There’s no coincidence that running and finishing the race is often mentioned in the Bible:

The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race… in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize… So run to win… run with purpose in every step… let us strip off every weight that slows us down… And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us… those who trust in the Lord will find new strength… They will run and not grow weary…

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize… on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless… I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race…” (Ecc 9:11, 1 Cor 9:24, 26, Hebrews 12:1, Isa 40:31, Phil 3:14, Phil 2:16, 2 Tim 4:7).

The New Year is fastly approaching— get up and run!

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Happy

Sometimes I think people take things too seriously. This seems to be especially true for things associated with the church. I think when some people hear the word, “Church,” they get a picture of boring activities and boring people. I don’t think Jesus was boring and I don’t think He did boring things. I think He tried to have fun as much as He could.

I think some churches feel that having fun might somehow be disrespectful to God or that it would diminish the gospel, but if we are made in the image of God then God created in us the ability to have fun and enjoy what we are doing.

A few days ago I began filming members of my church having fun. The idea was to show that our church can love God and still have fun. I wanted to illustrate that we are happy to be at our church and that being in our church made us happy.

The result was a series of video clips that were pieced together using Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy”: http://youtu.be/dYtB4LN1xy4. My hope is to show that our church is different from the “stuffy” church that some people may envision.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 says, “So I recommend having fun because there is nothing better for people to do in this world than to eat, drink and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them” (NLT).

I think there should be joy in serving God. May the happy music in your heart draw people closer to Him!

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Riding a bike

I have heard the saying, “You never forget how to ride a bike,” but in my case it is not true.

ImageSeveral weeks ago I rode a bike for the first time in almost 30 years. I had difficulty going forward without nearly crashing whenever I was on the bike.

I remember how much I enjoyed riding when I was younger, and I really wanted to get better at riding the bike again so every time we would go camping I would make it a point to ride the bike.  Now I am slowly relearning how to ride one.

Yesterday, my youngest son came to visit us at the local campground. He needed a key code to get in so I thought I would ride to the gate on my bike. I guess my mind was on getting there so I didn’t even think about how unsteady I had previously been on the bike.

I realized after riding nearly effortlessly there that I had remembered how to ride again— it was like something in my brain just “clicked.”

I was able to ride with only one hand on the handle bar and I could look back without swerving out of control. I was riding fast and veering around people and other obstacles— it was such a great feeling.

Sometimes I think my relationship with God is like riding a bike— I forget how to worship Him. I read the Bible, but I forget to think about how awesome God is. I pray, but I don’t really remember the One I am praying to. Often, I read the Bible and pray to God as if I was a “robot.”

When I spend more time in strengthening my relationship with God, then I remember everything about Him. I remember all the prayers He answered, and I can recall the many times He had guided and protected me.

I suppose it is easy to forget about God—the Israelites did, many times, in the Old Testament. I think that if I never stopped to think about God and what He means to me then I would forget about Him too.

I want to put as much effort in knowing God as I did in relearning how to ride a bike. I want to worship God like I did when I first became a believer—all I wanted to do then was to please God and to thank Him for everything.

My prayer now is, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me… Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you… Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you” (Psalm 51:10, 12, 15, NLT).

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

I will cover my mouth with my hand

My husband and I read the Bible every morning, but since I had my tonsillectomy, he has been doing all the reading. Yesterday, he went to the grocery store without me (usually we go together).

Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday and even though we had planned several weeks ago to take him to breakfast, to a movie, then to a sushi place for lunch, I don’t think I will be able to go because I get tired very quickly now, plus I am still in pain.

I almost feel like I am standing still and everything else is moving around me. Life continues to happen. I can see how someone who is having health problems can become depressed—it would seem like the “natural” reaction.

For the past few days I have been thinking about my father-in-law. I can’t believe he endured so many years of pain and yet continued to smile.

This is a picture of him with his first great-grandchild, my granddaughter. He was lying on his home hospital bed when the picture was taken. He was bloated from the medications and he had discoloration around his lips, but the joy he had within radiated from his face.

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It’s been only a week of this misery for me and I am finding it very difficult to stay “positive,” even knowing that my health issue is only temporary and that I should be much better in another week.  I find myself whining, crying, and sulking and it’s been only seven days!

When I compare my seven days to the twenty years my father-in-law suffered, all I can (and should) say is: “…I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say” (Job 40:4-5, NLT).

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti