simple thoughts on a tough subject…

i wanted to address a couple comments i had a few weeks ago 
i sincerely thank each of you who commented
& especially my two readers who left such raw thoughts.
i won’t quote them but you may refer to the comment section if needed….
in the entry, i had quoted kay warren’s definition of joy:
“joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life,
the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be all right,
& the determined choice to praise God in all things.”
“settled conviction about God
quiet confidence in God
& a choice to give praise to God”
i had a couple comments regarding god being in control of all (emphasis on the all)
the details of our life
or not.
& i will say my friend susan left a most fabulous, scripture filled response
that you can read here too
i’ll be honest with ya’ll
& give you my completely un-seminary based, very simple thoughts regarding this subject.
please don’t throw tomatoes at me
as i don’t do well with conflict.
this subject has been tossed around by theologians for years
so i will delicately give just a few thoughts
of my own. i know. funny right?

i believe in the word of God.
i also know that no one, none of us truly understands His ways.
& we don’t want to truly understand His ways right?
would we marvel & worship a God we have all figured out?
i think not.
so we base our beliefs on the written word
and to argue over how we interpret some of that seems futile.
back to the original question.
i personally do not believe God is in control of every single detail of our world.
he’s been all about us having a free will since the garden of eden.
do i believe He’s ultimately in control & can intervene in the thoughts
& plans of man at any time?
He’s the creator.
 i’m just a mom. i’m just a simple person who trusts easily
& obviously has no problem being transparent and sharing my thoughts.
when i first read kay’s definition 
i honestly didn’t get tangled up in the “does he control every single detail”. 
i believe he’s in control of my life.
that i’m in the palm of his hand.
i do.
while i’ve never been on the front line of a war
i didn’t survive the holocaust
or any other horrific , unimaginable situation
i have seen my share of death & dying.
i’ve watched many small children battle cancer
& i’ve sat beside them while they cried out in pain
& were scared to fall asleep because they were afraid they wouldn’t awaken.
i’ve been with men younger than i am now when they passed away.
i’ve watched grown men lay helpless in a hospital bed while disease eats away their life
i’ve prepared bodies after their passing moments after their loved ones said goodbye.
& as you know, i watched my own awesome husband lose a horrific battle with cancer.
i’ve lost babies before i could carry them to gestation.
i’ve seen sadness
but i’ve never doubted  Him.
i’ve never doubted He is good
that while He created a once perfect world
and a once perfect everything,
i believe He loved & because He loved
He allowed a choice. our way or His way.
in my heart i believe sickness and death and cancer and all the crap in this world
is not from him.
it’s a result
of our broken world.
it broke in the garden when “we” were given a choice
& “we” chose our way.
i believe that the entire plan was that of redemption.
all along.
i believe that He knew.
all of it. all along.
before adam breathed a breath.
as beth moore speculated in her hilarious, yet brilliant way just yesterday
it’s as if He God, looked at Jesus just before He breathed in to adam
& said…
you sure about this?

because He loved
because He is holy & just
He had a plan. a way for redemption
& that including coming to earth in the form of a man
& bearing all the sin upon himself
& enduring a horrific death
so that there was a payment made for the sin. the bad choice “we made”
(john 19)
jesus’s death as payment for sin was never plan B.
one day we will have a new heaven & a new earth
we will see Him face to face.
what we see & what we understand now
is tainted because we are NOT God.
we are the created. not the creator.

but back to the issue in my comment section~
i don’t believe He controls every detail of my day
i don’t get all out of whack trying to figure out if He made me choose my nailpolish
or not. that doesn’t matter to me.
does He allow or does He send?
good grief.
i’ll be honest.
bottom line,
i love Him & trust Him regardless.
did He send?
did He allow?
i love Him & put all my trust in Him.
i just do…
please don’t all ruffled up with me or disappointed in my simplicity.
i am introspective
i ponder
i like to figure people out 
i like a plan
& i like “to know”
but as far as many things i believe spiritually
& about our heavenly father,
i’m pretty simple minded.
“I tell you the truth, 
anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child 
will never enter it.”
mark 10.15
i love this blog.
this outlet for me to share.
and my friend, i love that you are here.
i pray my words never cause anyone to stumble
i pray my words are pleasing to Him.

{all the images today were from a senior session i recently had the honor 
of photographing.
i was so moved as this beautiful young woman gracefully danced
before me that evening & i thought they seemed perfect for this post.
i’ve spent a lot of time thinking through what & even if i might respond.
this images seem simple and so pure.
as i hope you know my thoughts are in sharing my heart…}
July 2, 2012 - 10:10 pm

Jan Wiggins - Amen Paige! I have just started reading your blogs and absolutely love them!! Jan

July 2, 2012 - 10:18 pm

Suzie - I believe what you're trying to define is God's sovereign will/moral will/individual will…. all three are different and when we argue over each of them, we generally are misquoting scripture or using it in the wrong context. I agree with your thoughts and will elaborate on those “wills” outlined above if someone does not understand them 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts… I enjoy them and hearing how you're learning to love your daughters individually… I am working on the same!

July 2, 2012 - 10:22 pm

Cynthia's Botanical Arts - Dear Paige, I rarely leave comments…but today, I couldn't resist. I love your blog….for many, many reasons. I love the way you walk and talk your faith, and pass it on to others. I love the way you bring optimism and passion to all that you love. You are a great Mother; a great wife and an interesting person.

I am Jewish….converting as an adult. My sister is an Episcopalian Priest; One of my son's is a convert to Christianity. It's all good. To have a faith and believe in it's joy, is about as good as it gets. To split hairs with any faith, is to lose sight of the bigger picture. So, keep on doing what you do so well, and don't worry about the small stuff….you have the BIG picture, for sure!

July 2, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Patty@Lemon Lane Cottage - You did good Paige. Regardless if one chooses to agree with your interpretation (which I do) or not you offered it with conviction, sensitivity and love. Thanks for answering the tough questions. Patty

July 2, 2012 - 10:48 pm

gina smith - Paige,
I LOVE everything you said above and you are an amazing women. I truly believe that you are a role model that many (including me) strive for.
Everyone has a different way of thinking about religion and how they apply it in their lives. We all have the choice each day on how we will honor him, listen and be still.
Keep sharing your thoughts.

July 2, 2012 - 10:50 pm

Susan R - And posts like these just confirm why I love you my friend. You may be many things and you may not be many things, but one thing that I know you are is undeniably eloquent.
I couldn't agree with you more.

July 2, 2012 - 10:50 pm

Paige - I so get you!!! I think alot of how we view God is from a place of loss and knowing that we can't ever know His ways, so we accept Him as He allows us to and yes we get to choose our nail polish as well! It is all about the bottom line:)

July 3, 2012 - 1:18 am

Anonymous - AWESOME!!!Glory be to God.

July 3, 2012 - 1:31 am

Privet and Holly - “i pray my words are pleasing to Him.”

I can't imagine it could be any other
way, sweet friend.

I hope and pray for the same thing
every single time that I hit that publish

What perfect pictures to pair with your
heart song. How brave of her to dance
with such abandon before your lens and
how brave of you to share these thoughts.

xo Suzanne

July 3, 2012 - 1:55 am

slip4 - Paige, I like simple and I think you expressed my own feelings very well. I think sometimes people feel guilty for thinking that God doesn't control every bit of our life, but it's not that he CAN'T but that he allows free will to happen too. I think if He decides to intervene for His will to be done, He will. I just rest in my trust of Him and try to remember to pray for His will, and not mine.
And the senior portrait photos are beautiful. I wish i lived closer to Atlanta, or you lived closer to Richmond so you could take my son's senior photos this fall!

July 3, 2012 - 2:08 am

Anonymous - Bless you Paige, and your tender and kind heart, and bless you for not being afraid to address tough questions and “ponderings”. It is through those questions that we grow. I am one of the “anonymous” commenters…aka Linda. While my questions, or comments may have seemed lofty, or heady or philosophical, I did not mean them to be. They were only my thoughts and questions based on my own suffering….questions I was forced to ask and address when so much did not seem to jive with what I, as a believer, have been taught to believe since I was very young. I fully agree with what you shared is your point of view. Thank you so much Paige!

July 3, 2012 - 12:39 pm

Between You and Me - I commented right above the anonymous comment in that last post….I'm one of the ones that commented that God being in control brings me peace.

Let me clarify…I DO NOT think that God causes evil. I understand fully that we have free will.

I have experienced the evil of a man's free will when I was little, and what brings me PEACE is that God is powerful and loving and gracious enough to miraculously bring anything “good” out of such horror.

..not only surviving “evil” but somehow learning to thrive afterwards is a miracle that only a loving God can allow.

Thanks friend for posting on such a topic with such grace and love and concern for each of your readers.

July 3, 2012 - 1:04 pm

Love Being A Nonny - Sweet Paige,
I agree with you and with Suzie's comment above. Heart attitude is a biggie here too. Sometimes it's all about a heart attitude. HE knows our hearts and our choices. Though they both make Him grieve for us at times, He loves us. Oh, how He loves us. He is pleased with you Paige…I am too!! Love ya!

July 3, 2012 - 1:36 pm

Just Ask Beth - Amen Paige.. I couldn't have said it better..your words are true and heartfelt.

July 3, 2012 - 2:24 pm

Anonymous - Hi Paige
I enjoy your blog, but not today. You are a grown woman and you can write anything you want- when you want. Don't waste time and energy defending yourself. Whether somone agrees or disagrees with your posting should have no bearing on you. I am surprised at your need to defend yourself. Have fun with your blog the way you used to. We all enjoy stopping by and visiting. Keep up the good work.

July 3, 2012 - 2:27 pm

The Perfect Trio - In short, my husband is looking for work and we are living with my in-law's. This post speaks volumes to ME! I'm in tears. Thank you!

July 3, 2012 - 2:29 pm

Kitty @ EmbraceableLife - Lovely, heart felt, and true. 🙂

July 3, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Kim - Your words AND your heart are pleasing to Him. Not one of us has it all figured out – to claim so is ridiculous. Trusting Him, loving Him, and believing in His goodness and sovereignty are the most important aspects of our faith.

And yes, PERFECT images for this post!!

July 3, 2012 - 3:47 pm

Brian and Amber - All I can say is AMAZING! Paige you are a beautiful person and the way you write and express your love for the Lord is so inspiring and infectious! It shines on your face too! Aren't you impressed that I figured out how to leave a comment. HAHAHA!! Love ya!

July 3, 2012 - 3:47 pm

Brian and Amber - This comment has been removed by the author.

July 3, 2012 - 3:51 pm

Brian and Amber - All I can say is AMAZING! Paige you are such a beautiful person! It shows in the way you write in conviction about the Lord and it's so inspiring and infectious! Your face shines like a light and your personality is infectious too! Aren't you proud I finally figured out how to leave a comment. HAhAHA!!! Love ya!

July 3, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Yolanda - Love your blog and thoughts. God is in the details if we allow Him to be! Like many have said, we have a free will and choices. If we invite Him to be in control, He will be all over it. I agree, your photography in this post portrays freedom! Blessings!

July 3, 2012 - 5:19 pm

RachelRAdams - you speak from the heart…. it is wonderful.

July 3, 2012 - 5:28 pm

Anonymous - 100% agree with you. Beautiful.

July 3, 2012 - 7:22 pm

dixies_mom - Well said, Paige. Well said.

July 4, 2012 - 9:08 am

six chicks - Beautifully said! Thank you for the wonderful expression of your faith. Blessings to you and your family!

July 4, 2012 - 10:36 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Your heart and mine share the same conviction and belief. You are precious and I'm so glad God is in control of the grand plan, and has a plan that allows my free will to intertwine with His plan of perfection and works together for good and His glory. You said it well indeed.

July 5, 2012 - 3:16 pm

Jillian, Inc - I've always had the same thought as you regarding free will and “the little things” and have always found disagreement with my beliefs. I've sat through way too many sermons and Sunday school classes where someone talks about finding a good parking spot as being “a God thing”. Ummmmmm…

July 6, 2012 - 5:28 am

ElisabethCS - I haven't been to your blog in so long…but I'm back. Thank you for that post. It's pretty much exactly the way I believe as well.Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out there.

July 9, 2012 - 4:08 pm

Shellie - I've been on vacation, in Ga. in fact, and have been away from your blog for a while.
While in Ga., Athens to be exact, my best friend and I went to the mall of Ga., I think you may live by there,(not sure). Anyhoo, I told my friend that she need be prepared, for if I saw you, I would run after you and have my picture taken with you! I just knew you would ablige!!
First day back to the grind, got caught up, read this post and was almost in tears. You have a gift my dear, don't ever doubt that. The way your words jump off the page. That is one of the reasons I felt like if I saw you, I could approach you and I knew you would be your sweet self.
I feel the same way you do. sometimes people wonder why God allows bad things to happen. We are not in a perfect world and I too believe that it all started in the garden. All that aside, don't ever doubt what you're doing. I love your blog and love that christian women are writing their thoughts and are not ashamed of what they believe.
You are a dear lady with a wonderfulfamily. I have 2 girls, 19 and 14, so I can relate.
You inspire me and I love that we are sisters in Christ.
Much love from Florida!!

July 12, 2012 - 3:14 am

Ruth - Beautifully put and straight from the heart. I agree with all you have written here. You are a blessing!! Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging each of us.

September 24, 2012 - 10:08 am

crork - 1Fc0DP I really like and appreciate your article post.Really thank you! Want more.