What I’ve Learned From Watching 7th Heaven

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We just finished 7th Heaven.  All eleven seasons.  For the past few months that is all the TV we have watched. My husband is a great man. He watched the entire show with me without complaint.

It became my therapy of sorts.  It was how I slowed down at the end of the day.  It got me through one of the most stressful seasons in which I’ve lived. It preached to me in ways that sermons and fellowship with others could not. It met a need I had that I still can’t quite put into words.

It was a great season, but now it is over and time to move on, although I will miss checking in on the Camdens.  I do have some take aways  that can be applied to living life well, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the lessons 7th Heaven can teach us all.

1.  Family should be there for you no matter what (and you for them).

2. Family can be anybody that you open your heart and sometimes your door to.

3.  Your secrets are not really a secret, somebody always knows.

4.  Your sins will always find you out (Numbers 32:23).

5.  Forgiveness is a wonderful thing – to receive and to give.

6.  You should not be afraid to take risks and try something new.

7.  You should always honor your commitments and keep your word.

8.  Prayers are always answered; sometimes even the way you hoped.

9.  Helping others is necessary for living a balanced life.

10. Breaking bread around the table with friends and family is therapy, even if it’s just Pizza from your local Pizza parlor.

11. Death is certain and brings pain, but there is healing in the grief process.

12.  We all make mistakes, but we are not defined by the mistakes we have made.

13. Life is beautiful in all it’s messy turned upside down glory.  Especially, in it’s messy upside down glory.

14. Falling in love is wonderful.

15. There is a God who loves us unconditionally and he has a sense of humor.

16. Sometimes you need to go home again.

17. Life is a miracle to be celebrated.

18. When you’ve done all that you can do take a road trip to gain perspective.

19.  Choose to live well.  You do have a choice.

20.  Everything is going to be fine.

I’m sure there are many more lessons to be garnered from 7th Heaven, but these seem to be the overriding theme and I for one needed to be reminded of these truths.

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Finding grace in my own 7th Heaven,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily P Freeman of Chatting at the Sky.  Click on over to read what others have learned.

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Prompted By Forgiveness

Today’s post on Forgiveness, is the last in the Write 31 Days series, Prompted to Write.  My first post in this series was about my mother, so it is only fitting that I end the series with a post about her.  If you have followed along, I hope you have enjoyed the journey and I hope you have extended grace on the few days I missed or gave you a bunch of pictures.  I will continue writing going forward, but it won’t be every day.  I hope you come back and please leave a comment to let me know you were here.  God Bless!

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Forgiving and being forgiven is a wonderful thing.  When we live in fear that we aren’t forgiven it weighs heavily on our spirit.  Likewise, when we have an unforgiving attitude towards others it kills our peace.  I’ve been on both sides of that coin and I remember the relief I felt when I realized I was forgiven and also when I was able to extend forgiveness.  It definitely lightens our load.

I was reminded recently of the gift of forgiveness when I ran across a letter my mom sent me years ago, long before the Alzheimer’s began to set in.  I had felt the need to write her and ask forgiveness for a time in my life when I felt that I had broken her trust.

We were living in Florida at the time and so I wrote her a letter as I have always preferred to write down what I want to say in order to make sure I say what needs to be said.  And, also because sometimes it is easier to hide behind the pen rather than talk directly to someone.

I’ll never forget the day I received her letter in the mail offering forgiveness.  The tears flowed and I realized that her love for me was stronger than any sin I could commit.  When I read the letter again, just yesterday, it still brought comfort to me and it reminded me that she has always loved me unconditionally, and does so even now, on days when she barely knows who I am.

Mom, right before I was born.  I was a winter baby.
Mom, right before I was born. I was a winter baby.

In her letter she used an acrostic of my name and the word forgiven to write out her message.  I’d like to share her words with you:

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With those words she offered me hope and she reminded me of one who loves me even more than she.  I thought of her line that said “intense moments of pain cannot destroy that love,” and how that is true of Jesus’s love for us as well.  Our sin caused him intense physical pain as well as intense emotional pain. Yet, he still went to the cross for us.  Even now, as redeemed children, we still cause him pain when we ignore him or doubt his power to forgive.

Won’t you join me in accepting the fact that he loves us unconditionally and we can never out sin his love.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

We don’t need to live under the bondage of sin and guilt. If we are in him, then we are free.  My mother ended her letter by saying, “A contrite spirit is always rewarded with God’s forgiveness and healing.”

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Healed by grace,

Teresa

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me, with normal ears…

PS – if you are wondering about the “ears taped securely in place”  it is a well-known fact in our family that my mother taped our ears with small band-aids when we were babies so that when we rolled over they would not get bent, thus avoiding ears that stick out.  Does this really work?  Who knows, but our ears did not stick out…