Crying Children: A Call to Action

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“Somebody had to do it,” Olivia Nuzzi, a reporter for the New York magazine, said when asked why she decided to play an audio recording of crying children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border. Later on TV, political pundits yapped incessantly about whether or not President Trump and his administration truly cared for these children. Further discussion occurred where citizens who want stronger borders were labeled racists and border patrol agents were called domestic terrorists. All of it made my stomach hurt.

At work a few days later, we evaluated a freckle-faced 2.5-year-old boy who lives in foster care. The minute he entered the room he broke down crying. Mistaking one of the evaluators as his mother, he ran toward her, reached up and hugged her. He called her mama. We discovered later he has three siblings who are also in foster care. Not one of them is with the other because there isn’t a home to take them all. He and his siblings were removed from their mother because she was abusing drugs.

Many of the children I evaluate have drug abuse in their history. Many were exposed to drugs during the pregnancy. They were born drug addicts and had to suffer through painful detox and drug withdrawal. During this, they scream and cry inconsolably in pain for days. It’s a cry you’ll not soon forget.

Olivia Nuzzi will likely never play a recording of any of these children crying. She was obviously making a political point against an administration she doesn’t care for. Most of the talking heads who label law enforcement as racists and terrorists are simply doing the same. They don’t seem to care about the babies I see daily.

I admit I follow politics too closely sometimes. But, I strive to be an informed citizen and that gets harder each day because our press coverage is far from balanced. I’m nothing more than an average person who is seeing the effects of drugs on our children and it breaks my heart.

James writes in Chapter 1:26 for Christians to “look after widows and orphans.” But, he also says in that same verse for us to “not be polluted by the world.” What does that mean?

Maybe it means, we are not to slander or name call as the world does. We are not to choose some orphans to benefit us politically while ignoring others who do not move our agenda forward. We are not to support policies, such as open borders, which make our communities unsafe for children.

Regardless of what the press is pushing, we’ve got major problems with gangs, drugs, and broken families right now.

The children are crying and we are called to action. If you truly care about crying children, get started today. Don’t wait for the government to do it. Make a call, write a check, or open your home.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Pray for the crying children in your neighborhood or your town. Pray for the teachers who deal with students from broken homes and who are living amongst substance abuse. Pray for the police and border patrol who risk life daily to keep the danger away and stop the flow of drugs and sex traffic. Pray for our President and our elected leaders whose primary job is our protection. Pray for hearts to be softened to the plight of children–no matter the race or ethnicity. Pray for healing in our land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disconnected from Reality

_Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it._ Proverbs 22_6

The speech pathologist held up a mirror in front of the toddler-aged girl and asked, “Who’s that?”

The blond-headed child, perched on her mother’s lap, did not respond.  Her sky-blue eyes never looked up from the smartphone.

The examiner tapped on the mirror again and repeated the question. The trance briefly interrupted, the girl turned the phone around so the animated kitty could see itself in the mirror. “Meow,” it purred. Continue reading “Disconnected from Reality”

Clean Hands

Clean Hands


One day when David was young, we hopped in our purple minivan to run an errand. When we came to a stop, he asked for some hand sanitizer. I turned around to squirt a few lavender-scented drops into his palm and realized his hands were filthy. Sanitizer wasn’t going to be enough to do the job. “Hand sanitizer is really just for cleaning hands that are already fairly clean, except for germs,” I said.

This week God reminded me of that story. He also showed me how I used to use Jesus like hand sanitizer. I had convinced myself my hands were basically clean because I hadn’t killed anyone, hadn’t hit another, or stolen anything. My hands only needed a squirt or two of Jesus. Right? … Wrong.

Years ago, I only read my Bible on Sundays. I attended church once a week and thought that was good enough. Kind of like the hand sanitizer, I administered a squirt or two of religion and believed I was protected. I lived under the delusion I was clean. But, I wasn’t.

Now when I read Matthew 23:28, I see what Jesus meant when He said: “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Earlier in that same passage, He spoke of the uselessness of cleaning the outside of the cup and leaving the inside filled with greed and self-indulgence.

No matter how many squirts of Scripture I read, I was never sanitized, never truly clean. I could scrub myself daily with Ivory soap and then soak in Purell sanitizer, which claims to kill 99.9% of all germs, and still, my hands were like filthy rags to God. Same thing as when I indicated to David his hands were going take a deeper cleaning than a drop or two of hand sanitizer.

What I needed and what you need, is to be clean from the inside out. For that, you need the ultimate sanitizer–Jesus Christ. As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

If you want clean hands, you need Jesus. If you desire righteous motives behind your actions, you need Jesus. A squirt or two of religion won’t cut it. All you’ll be doing is cleaning the outside of the cup, yet leaving the inside dirty.

Friend, don’t go another day without Him.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe you are the son of God. Forgive me for all my sins because I want to be clean. I accept you as my Lord and Savior and give you control of my life. I love you and I need you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Love y’all,

Ginny

 

 

 

 

 

Face the Fear

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In his first inaugural address to the nation in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

About all any of us recall of his speech was the infamous quote, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” But, it is so easy to fear the fear. There’s even a medical term for it–phobophobia. This is the fear of the internal sensations associated with fear, the tingliness, the panic, the floaty and out-of-body sensations which are so unpleasant.

I’ve experienced fear of the fear and can tell you without reservation, it is real. However, I can also testify to you the power of facing the fear and using God’s words to defeat it.

We are told in the Ephesians 6:17:

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The word of God, the Scriptures, are the weapon to use against fear. Say to the spirit of fear, the devil, “You are a liar! I have nothing to fear for God is stronger than you.”

You will have to say it over and over and over. The devil is a persistent enemy and must be faced with confidence each and every time.

Whatever you are fearing, even if it is fear itself, choose to believe God is stronger and use His words to combat and overcome the lying words of the devil, those words he whispers to you, such as “You’re not good enough.”

My prayer for you this week is you begin the process of following God’s ways when it comes to doing battle with fear.

Here’s a wonderful song you may not have heard.

Remember words have extreme power–both nice ones and hurtful ones. The devil, yes he is real, only tells you the hurtful ones. Decide today and tomorrow, to only listen and believe the ones God tells you: you are beautiful, you are loved, you are forgiven, you need me.

Love y’all and know God’s ways are best, today and always!

Ginny

P.S. New stuff coming next week. Follow me on social media and, if you haven’t yet, sign up for the newsletter!

 

God Rested. Why aren’t you?

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Welcome to our mini-series on fear, anxiety, and control. Last week’s post was entitled Remember Follow the Leader? Go back and read it, if you’d like.

In last week’s post, I wrote about how I had to learn to follow God’s plans and be willing to put aside my own ideas of how things needed to go. We reviewed how smart the ducklings are who follow their mother so they stay safe. We need to be as smart as they are and follow our leader–God. He is our creator and He knows best.

One thing I had to learn during my time of panic attacks and over scheduling was how to say no. No is such a small word, but I had such a difficult time saying it.

Before God revealed to me why I couldn’t seem to say no, I felt pretty good about how much I could handle. You’ve heard it said, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” I took pride in how much I could get done. I’m a list maker and a lover of checking things off my list.

Our culture has made us so connected via technology, we can get even more done. We’re never really clocked out at work. We’re never really out of touch because we live with our phone attached to us. We even get anxious if it isn’t. I wrote in Put Up A Fence how we need to fence off our personal lives from the web and to decrease our interest in other people’s lives.

Yes, I know we can’t completely disconnect from our fast-paced culture. But, we can control our schedule and say no to some things.  Let’s review what God has to say about rest. Sometimes to find the truth, one has to go back to the beginning. So, we’ll review Genesis 2:2

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

God, the creator of the universe, found it wise to rest. He even commanded us in Exodus 20: 9

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not work…”

Why would God rest? Did He need to? Or, did He pattern for us what He knew would be best for our physical, mental, and spiritual health?

Does it matter? Not to me. Here’s what I know:

He rested, He commanded us to rest and I do much better when I rest.

All things in creation have a season and I learned not all activities needed to occur in the same season. For example, when my children were involved in band and tennis, both requiring a lot of driving on my part, that wasn’t the correct season for me to be president of the neighborhood watch. That could occur in another season of life.

This week look at your schedule and take control of it. Pray over every item and ask God what you need to say no to. I encourage you to learn to embrace the power of saying no–it is very freeing.

I’m praying for you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

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Remember Follow the Leader?

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Welcome to week #3 in our mini-series on stress/anxiety/fear. Last week’s post entitled “Can’t Catch Your Breath?” touched a lot of readers. Wow! Feel free to go back and read it, if you haven’t already.

This week we’re focusing on the underlying root of most anxiety, at least it was for me. The underlying root causing my panic and anxiety attacks was a fear of losing control.

Many have asked me how I felt during that period of my life and the only way I can describe it is, “I felt like I was walking quickly (okay, running) on a treadmill while simultaneously juggling too many balls.” Plus, and here’s the real kicker–I couldn’t control the speed of the treadmill or how many balls I had to keep up with.

The treadmill was the speed of my days. The balls were the agenda items on my day planner. Important things such as getting the kids dropped off at school on time and hustling across town to be ready for my first patient. Making sure everyone had breakfast and an after-school snack PLUS the gear for the karate class or the band practice.

It became too much! Something had to give and that thing was me and my facade of control.

So, during those times of staying home recovering from anxiety, God began to show me this week’s Scripture.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and to not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

But, I didn’t feel like I was prospering. No, I was definitely not doing well.

Slowly, because I was slow to learn, God began to reveal to me things I could stop doing, schedule changes to make, after-school items to say “no” to. Yes, learn how to say “no.”

Our culture, which is not God-directed, tells us, “You can have it all! A happy marriage, a fantastic career, well-educated and successful children.”

Well, here’s a little nugget of truth–what the culture (directed by the prince of the world, aka Satan) says is a lie. Why are we surprised? That is all Satan knows how to do.

You can have a lot, mind you. But, maybe not simultaneously, unless you have a nanny (aka a stand-in for your parental responsibilities).

Back to our theme on The Boot which is God’s ways are best. God’s way is for one parent, the father, to work and provide for the family. The mother, who is best at the job, does the managing of the children and the house- a monumental job. These duties may be switched, but the point is it takes two.

Before you wig out and accuse me of being backward and stodgy, relook at what God has given you as your responsibility–the raising of children. Is there a greater job in the Kingdom of God? No. And, look to whom he granted the responsibility. No, to whom He granted the honor.

In our picture this week, we have a mother duck leading her ducklings. The ducklings know to stay behind her and to not stray. Oh, if we were as smart as the ducklings. They follow their parent.

Our parent is God.

Follow His lead.

Learn His ways and trust them.

Start now. He knows best how to prosper you and bless you. He has promised it and He always keeps His promises!

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Follow so you won’t miss next week’s post! And, if you aren’t already doing so, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or check out my website at ginnycruz.com

P.S.S. I cut back on my hours and we tightened our financial belts. The children limited their activities and thrived. Now, God has granted me time to get back to opportunities I never dreamed of and wouldn’t have considered, if I had stayed with my plan. Praying for you this week!

 

Can’t Catch Your Breath?

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My panic attacks began eleven years ago. Out of the blue, I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. It wasn’t long before I had hyperventilated and passed out.

The panic attacks continued and would always creep up on me in an unexpected fashion. Not when I thought I’d be anxious, but when I didn’t. Like when I was home alone or when I was driving to pick up the kids from school–things I had done thousands of times.

I ended up in the emergency room a few times convinced I was having a stroke or a heart attack. But, they disregarded my imaginations and sent me home. Home to find my own answers.

I researched on Google. Not a good idea, I admit. But, I was desperate and thought I was losing my mind. I jokingly told myself I was having a midlife nervous breakdown. My friends discouraged such talk; however, I’m still convinced that is what it basically was.

It was my coming to a point in life where I could not continue on my own strength. And, having to realize I should have never been trying to do it on my own. But, I had.

This week let’s focus on going back to the beginning in the book of Genesis and remind ourselves our breath is from God–each one, from the first cry after birth to the last exhalation before death. God’s breath is our breath.

During my darkest moments, when I was lying face down on the cold ceramic tiles, my mind grasping at something to hold onto, I began to recite the 23rd Psalm over and over and over. This would bring my breathing into a rhythm and calm me down. I focused on praising God by speaking or singing or shouting his words back to Him.

You might want to try that yourself. Or, pick your own Scripture to mumble under your breath to calm yourself down.

Here’s a link for one of my favorite praise songs which talks a lot about our breath. I pray it lifts you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

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