Some People Have it All

For it is by grace you have been saved.

Grace is defined by Noah Webster as the free, unmerited love and favor of God.

Not by works so that no one can boast.

Get off your high horse Christian lest you be shot off of it!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Do I get that? Do I even begin to fathom what that means?! The same God that made the twinkling stars in the sky, made me! The same God that made the sun to shine and the tulips to grow, has a beautiful plan for my life! He made me to accomplish a goal, he made me to do great things! He is my Father and he knows me like no other and he loves me!

There are people that have athletic talent, beauty, fame, money beyond belief. Yet, they live in search.

I have it all! My Father is God. This world is mine. He has a plan for my life and is preparing a home in Glory for me! How do I live?

The Body of Christ

There is a body of Christ, a family, the church. I want to be a part. I want to do my part. But I want more. I want to give up. I want not less of me, I want none of me. None of me and all of him.

Jesus, be my vision. Take away my eyes. I see this world and I want it. I see and I judge, I lust after beautiful things, I strive for things MY eyes want. Take my eyes and be my vision. Let me see the ugly people that the world ignores. I want to focus on those in need, not in beauty. I want to see the bad attitude as someone hurt, I want to see the addict as someone struggling, and and the weak as those rejected. I want to see evil for what it is: sex trafficking are bodies you made, those aborted are your children, and those taken advantage of, those are my brothers and sisters. Jesus, be my vision.

Holy Spirit, be my ears. I give into flattery. Their words lead me astray. Fancy words entice. Block it out and tune my ears to the cry of those in need. Let me hear your voice that calls me, your words that direct me.

Father God, be my heart. Love through me. I can not. Only you can love those people, my human heart can not. But I want your heart, to love those people that do not deserve it, that do not make it easy. I want to love like you because that is where the transformation is complete. Because if you are my heart and if you love in this heart, then people will see YOU INSTEAD OF ME.

The Hurt of Today

Love is in the air. Love is in the mall, on TV, it’s on the calendar, today is Valentine’s Day. There is no escaping it. Unless…unless cupid’s arrow just soared right past you.

Love is amazing! It is inspiring, intoxicating, wonderfully ruining! With any great thing there is…well, not having that great thing. There is hurt.

There are those that want to skip right past February 14. Single, lonely people that fear they will never find someone to share their life with. Or even worse, those that are sharing their life with someone that they wish was different or just not there. There are sons longing for acceptance from their fathers and receive rejection instead. There are teenage girls giving everything away searching to be loved.

How is there any comfort?

This Valentines, those that share a good marriage celebrate. Wonderful! Children in loving homes celebrate. Great! Those blessed with friends celebrate. As they should!

But all of this is nothing. Nothing in comparison. What?! Friends fail us. Spouses screw up. Parents fall short.

But there is a love that is perfect. A love that never leaves. One that gave it all to be with us. Someone that knows us intimately.

And that is the best reason of all to celebrate!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Marry Jesus

Deep, but soft spoken voice, sturdy, the theologian type.

I responded with “Yes sir” and taking advice, I was there to learn.

Premarital counseling. Ironically, by myself. James was eleven hours away. We were a long distance relationship for six months.

“Caroline, Why do you want to marry James?” He read the question from his notes and then stared deeply at me, awaiting the answer to the important question.

I did not know. Sitting in these counseling sessions, I always wanted to say the right thing and here was a fundamental question that I did not know the answer to. It was off the cuff, and it was from my heart. It didn’t sound right, I was wishing I had thought it through more and knew how to better word this. I didn’t. I didn’t have that time but I knew my answer. At least, I knew the real reason, but I didn’t think it was the “right” answer. I sat there a minute thinking what I “should” say.

He continued to stare at me, waiting for an answer.

“I do not think this is the right answer….I am sure that you are looking for something else…” I looked down, avoiding his gaze.

And then I stared right back into his eyes with complete honesty, straight from my heart, “I just want to be with him.”

James and I were eleven hours away from each other for six months of our dating relationship. I have been through a lot of pain in my life and that tops the chart. I ached. My entire body, heart, and soul longed for James every part of every day. It was the pain of starvation and only being able to think of one thing: food.

I look back on my sessions of premarital counseling and I can not remember any of the “right” answers that I gave. When I think of that time, I think of that question and that answer. And now I know it may be the only answer that I gave correctly and honestly.

That is still my answer. I want to be married to James because I want to be with him. I want him standing beside me at elementary open houses. I want him sleeping on the pillow beside me. I want him walking through the door after a hard day at work. When I get upset and fight, I want it to be with him. I want him to hug me when I am grumpy. I want to go on a summer vacation with him. I want him to sit with me in the doctor’s office. I want him to read the Bible to our child. I want to figure out this thing called life with James. I just want to be with him.

I know what it is like to be without James and it is awful! I never want to go back to that!

Why am I a Christian? The question is asked and I search my mind for the right answer. I try to think of a verse or something theological to say, but the answer is there and I know I have to say it.

I look up and stare the world straight in the eyes. “Because I just want to be with him.”

There is a lot of really great stuff in the Bible, stories of strength and stories of love and forgiveness, lessons for life, and events in history. Praying is great, going to church is uplifting, serving others is amazing. But at the end of the day, it is personal. Why are you a Christian?

I just want to be with him! This life, this time apart from God is so painful! My body and my heart and my soul cry out for him. He calls me on the phone and we talk. He sends me gifts. (I know he is God and he is always with me.) BUT I WANT TO SEE HIM FACE TO FACE! I want to hug his body and never leave his side. I want to spend eternity with Jesus!

I know what it is like to be without Jesus and it is awful! Why would I ever go back?

Tomorrow is Valentines Day, the day of LOVE! Celebrate romantic love, it is wonderful and a true reason to celebrate! But celebrate love of family, celebrate love and friends and celebrate the greatest love of all! The God that made this whole entire universe, the God that knows everything, the God that controls everything, he is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and HE LOVES YOU!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What the World Needs Now

Love sweet love, where are you love? Our culture is one chubby toddler standing in their crib crying out to Mommy. We demand one thing: LOVE.

But we have lost our innocence. Pop culture has become one raging hormone. Two fifteen year old kids sneaking out of the house together. They met in Math class. In an abandoned parking lot, he holds her hand for the first time, kisses her strawberry lipstick, and he can’t stop. She doesn’t want to, but this is the first time anyone has ever wanted her. Is this love? She wonders. She gives and gives. She gives it all. It doesn’t take long to realize she is pregnant. He is only fifteen. He is not ready to be a father. And the pop culture that lured us in, abandons us. What do we do now?

MTV, Victoria’s Secret, pop music, the majority of anything on the screen, it is the fifteen year old boy luring us into the parking lot. And we just want to be loved.

How dare I tell anyone premarital sex is wrong! How dare I set standards! How dare I even use the words right and wrong! Who am I to judge the contents of music and TV?

Yeah, you are right. I have a new term to describe myself, raging sinner. It is true. The only good news in my phrase is that I know it. I know I have messed up and I know I continue to struggle and I know the one who forgives and washes me clean and I know the one who is, who he himself is love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13, 4-7

Look at the stark contrast! This is the love the world needs!

The Secret to Success.

“My love, you are a rose. I stare at your beauty in wonder I can not comprehend. Your kindness and your gentle touch are beautiful movements among the weary. Your virtues and your morals are not to be found in any other place among this earth. I can not compare to your standards. SO, I WANT YOU TO ACCEPT ME AS I AM AND LOVE ME FOR ME. While I sit and watch TV, bring me a beer. I will eat cheeseburgers and candy while you workout and diet on vegetables. But, I am admitting to you that I can never deserve you, so just because I say that, it is enough.”

The philosophy of our culture is: I get to do what I want to do. And I DESERVE to have everything I want.

The secret to success is one word: WORK.

I know, that is a dirty little word. I’m not telling you that you have to do it, but if you want success, that is the answer. Nobody, not even the government, owes you a house, a car, health insurance, a cellphone, or even food.

The American Dream. It means you have the right to work for these things, it does not mean that anyone has to give them to you.

Do you want a relationship with Jesus? Ok. Dangerous ground here. This is the one area where we get something for free: salvation. Period. It is nothing I do. Being good, reading my Bible, serving the poor…these things DO NOT make me a Christian. I am a raging sinner. It is all of Jesus and none of me. SALVATION IS NOT WHAT I AM REFERRING TO HERE. But do you want a close relationship with Jesus? Reread the above dialogue. Do not sit on the couch watching trash and ask Jesus to bring you a beer and expect to come out of it holy and pure. It takes work. Open up God’s word and read it. Attend church, actually listen to the sermon, filter it through the Bible, and apply it to your life.

Decide what you want to do, decide where you want to prosper, and WORK!

Do you want a good marriage? It takes work!

Do you want to raise polite, healthy children? It takes work!

Do you want to be RICH? Work! I’m not saying everyone that works hard is rich but I am saying that everyone that is rich has to work hard. And no one owes you that reward except yourself!

Shame on Christians that we do not stand out from this world! Shame on us that people do not admire and praise, “You have to say one thing about Christians: they are the hardest workers I know! And their marriages, their children, their careers, their service…are proof!”

Here I speak only to myself and other believers, where is our proof?

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

BookCoverImage     IMG_0050

I am the Biggest Feminist of Them All

The 6:15 alarm is painful. I am NOT a morning person. Hair sticking up, eyes still closed, and promising myself that “Tonight, I WILL get to bed early!” I drag myself into the bathroom. A few minutes later, my husband arrives with a hot mug of coffee. I’ve been waiting on it. I expect it.

Rick Johnson writes to dads in his book, “That’s My Girl,” telling them to teach their daughters how to expect to be treated. He tells a story of his then high school daughter stopping at the door outside of her high school waiting, waiting…most of the boys not knowing what was happening. Eventually, one of them would get a clue and open the door for her.

I recently wrote a post about James taking Madison to a Father – Daughter Dance. It included car doors opened for her, it included flowers, being guided through the dance floor and showing her that she is loved and protected.

I am one of the extremely small minority that has the immense blessing of being a stay at home mom. I have been supported in spending my days taking care of our family and teaching our daughter, while James works hard to financially provide for our family. This has allowed me the immense pleasure of pursuing my dream of writing. When my GPS acts up, I call my husband expecting him to guide me through directions, and he does. If the TV is turned on, I am getting a back massage. I expect to be protected, provided for, and just plain pampered.

“Oh, that is just you. You have no idea what most other women have to endure!” Yes. You are right.

“Women should be allowed to pursue a career.” Yes. I agree with you.

“You think women are weak.” No. I do not believe that at all. I do believe men and women, boys and girls, are different. But they are both strong in their own way.

Women’s Rights. Yeah, I believe in them! But sometimes I am just not sure what the Feminist Movement is fighting for. Those women look at someone like me and say, “You don’t need a man. Stand up for yourself.” So, my response: NEED? No. I could do this life on my own, but why in the hell would I want to when THIS is an option?!

So, you have decided you want this also? But there are not many men out there like James? Trust me, I know. There are a lot, a LOT, of jerks out there that think that women are only good for one thing. Do not accept that! Do not accept all men are like that, because they are NOT! Be a feminist and demand a man that respects you. Demand a man that will love, protect, provide, and pamper you. Women, realize just how strong you are. If this is what women demanded of men, trust me, they would change. Because, after all, we are women.

I am published!  Please click on the link below for more information and to purchase

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_15?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=caroline+hendry&sprefix=caroline+hendry%2Caps%2C186

BookCoverImage     IMG_0050

“Gifted Hands”

BOOK RECOMMENDATION! “Gifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story”

“For days I kept saying to myself, I can’t believe this has happened. I think I was something like a kid who’d just had a dream come true. Look at me, here I am the chief pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins at 33. This can’t be happening to me.”

“From inner-city kid to renowned neurosurgeon”

The story of Ben Carson is absolutely amazing, what an inspirational man! He is the epitome of the American dream! I can not recommend the book enough!

The Biggest Date of the Year

Last night, I found myself curling hair and giving advice to my seven year old daughter. “Madison, make sure you have good manners. Please take lots of pictures so I can see everything. And make sure you say thank you.” Madison had her first dance. Her date was Daddy.

James purchased the tickets. I ordered a pink dress that Madison kept a secret and kept hidden until the unveiling. Day of, James purchased a bouquet of fresh and gorgeous flowers.

Madison was counting down the days. She couldn’t wait until her date with Daddy. The fancy smancy YMCA father Daughter Dance. It was a big event. Madison was ecstatic to learn that so many of her friends would attend. It was the event of the year, after all. But she promised to keep her focus on Daddy and she promised to do lots of dancing.

An hour before they were to leave, Madison and I gathered in my bathroom. Her new dress looked beautiful! Then we stood giggling and taking selfies while I spent a good amount of time curling and fixing her hair. A little of Mommy’s lipstick was the finishing touch. With an announcement, she ran to present herself to her Daddy. He was waiting with flowers.

After lots of pictures, I sent them on their way. Fighting tears, I knew this was so much more than a fun night for the two of them!

Fast forward, for my sake, let’s just say many many years. For my sake, let’s emphasize many. Madison is dating. Or about to go on her first date. Or starting to “notice boys.” Let me tell you, THAT BAR IS SET HIGH! First of all, why would Madison ever date a jerk?! “My Daddy dates better than that!” She will expect flowers. She will expect her door to be opened. She will expect to be treated with respect, to be honored, and adored!

Madison is loved. She knows so, she is told every morning when she is woken. She is told every afternoon she is picked up from school. Her cheek is kissed as she is read to and tucked into bed. A dress is ordered and flowers are delivered in her honor. Madison will not go looking for love, it has been lavished on her since we knew she was in my belly!

No. James and I are not perfect parents. Far from it! No, we do not have a perfect daughter. Yes, she will make mistakes in life.

But my little girl, my Madison, she is amazing! She is beautiful! Good grief, she has a smile that will melt any heart! She is smart, I’m not just saying that, that seven year old has me on my toes! She is strong, athletic, kind, outgoing, serving, my girl is amazing!

Daddies! Date your daughters! Their husbands will thank you one day! (And they will be amazing men to achieve that status!)

Because of Therefores

I write because:

Her picture lights up my smartphone, We’ve been playing phone tag and finally the time has arrived. Answering, I talk a million miles a minute. Mid sentence, my sister interrupts. She has witnessed a bird hit by a car, flapping and lying in pain. She runs to the rescue. While I am waiting on the return call, I realize how I had begun spilling, not choosing my words correctly and not asking first about her. Like writing, I wished I could push delete and start over.

That moment. I pause in overwhelming inspiration. My heart lives, love conquers, and all the world pauses and applauds the words of Victor Hugo. Just to say the name Les Miserables, inspires my life. The words of the book disappear and I am there in Paris and Fantine is my friend and the Thenardiers have slapped my face. The creation of a life, a story, a place that can impact our lives. I love to write because I love to read.

My daughter is a Renaissance girl. She wants to learn and to know everything. She is a girl of many talents. There are so many things where she is naturally gifted. But then there are so many other things that draw her attention and call out her name to be attended to. Like a child, that she is, she loses her focus and wants to move on. “Madison, God gave you this ability. He made you good at this. So, I believe you should do it.” I do not know if it means a career or a hobby, a full or part time, or temporary endeavor, but I believe that if God gives you a talent, it is a sin not to use it. I am a writer. I sit down and it appears. I write because He gave me the ability.

For years and years I wrote and tossed, wrote and tossed. It was an expression in me that I knew no other way to release. When life got to be too much, when my emotions were numb or charged, when questions of life were too much to endure, writing sat with me. He sat patiently and listened. He hugged me and wiped my tears off my cheeks. He cried. And then he cheered, fists in the air and rejoiced in answers found and God praised. Writing is a companion that has become one of my dearest friends.

Writing is a creation, it mimics the God that created. Writing allows me to start over and start fresh on a new sheet of white paper with a newly sharpened pencil. I write because I need to start over often. I write because I can. I write because I want to. I write because it is part of the definition of who I am. I am a writer, therefore I write.