An Event Turned Life Lesson

ceiling lampI had a great time at my latest book signing last Saturday! I was blessed to meet some warm and kind-hearted individuals,some of whom had already purchased and read my book. It was humbling to see their reactions as well as hear their own perspective on my book. It felt almost surreal to observe their excitement as they related specific points in my book that made the most impact on them. The surrealism I experienced is correlated with the fact that for many years I felt invisible in certain settings, whereas in other settings I was looked upon as an anomaly. Consequently, still now, realizing those in attendance were there because of me was surreal and humbling. One lesson that I was reminded of is not to underestimate where you start in life. If your present circumstances are less than desirable, it does not necessarily reflect what your future will look like. It’s a question of faith, determination, and endurance: Do you have the faith to believe you are meant for more? Are you determined to pursue what’s meant for you (i.e. your destiny)? Are you willing to endure whatever comes along without deterring you from your goals? In other words, how you begin in life doesn’t have to be how you finish… As long as you keep pushing through the hurdles.
That book signing was very different in an amazingly good way. What was a complete eye-opener for me was my understanding, as well as confirmation, of why God permitted my burn injury. Although at that very young age I trusted that God still had my best interest at heart, I could not refrain from wondering why He allowed such a tragedy to capsize my entire life, He could have easily prevented it. After the fire, many years went by without my having an answer as to why God signed off on my burn injury. But, I continued to trust Him because His word reassured me of His unwavering plans for my life: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Slowly in the last couple years, I started noticing glimpses of such plans. And this past Saturday’s event gave me a clear understanding of why I had to endure what I went through. As I reflected on it, the conversations I had with each attendee solidified my newly-acquired insight: I was blessed to have had the privilege of meeting those wonderful people who reignited my sense of purpose to new heights, as I came to understand I survived everything for such a time as this. I was given the grace to overcome all the physical and emotional afflictions for such a time as this, so that my story may inspire, encourage, and most importantly demonstrate God’s sovereign ability to reverse even the most horrendous calamities. Nearly two decades after my burn injury, I’ve come to learn and make peace with these life lessons: 1) God honors our faith and persistence, especially when you have every reason to stop trying. 2) Sooner or later, we do arrive at a point of understanding as to the purpose behind our pain. Two days later as I was watching a sermon on television, I was reaffirmed of this realization when the pastor stated “If you move forward, God will turn your scars into stars for His glory.” We may not understand why we face our challenging situations; one thing is for sure: God can shock us big time when He reveals His master plan for our lives, even when we are hit with unimaginable tragedies.

 

Louise Beaubrun-Macaluso, PhD
 

 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s day is that special occasion where every year, around this time, we get to thank our mothers for everything they do. Mothers come in different forms though. We celebrate our mothers who brought us into this world wholeheartedly, as they’ve been with us through thick and thin. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t also celebrate those unofficial mothers who have made a mark in our lives by supporting us emotionally, physically, or otherwise. Some may have raised and loved us, while others may have nourished us back to health when they were under no obligation to do so. This Mother’s day, we also honor the mothers who had to care and provide for their offspring by themselves as single parents. Indeed, mothers do deserve to be held at the highest esteem for who and what they represent for their children and spouse! They are there for their loved ones whether they feel like it or not, whether they feel well or sick and needing to be cared for, and whether they feel happy or sad and craving some alone time. From the very beginning, mothers make a vow to care, provide, and protect their family, whatever it takes; even if it means putting themselves last on their priority list.
Hats off to all mothers out there for continually showing their love and dedication.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!

 

Louise Beaubrun-Macaluso, PhD

A Sacrifice Like No Other


This past week has been a very special week. It was holy week, leading to today being Easter. For many people, Easter is a holiday where families get together to break bread and enjoy each other’s company, with the kids hunting for Easter eggs. However, for a number of us, Easter is more than just wearing our Sunday best and family time.
Easter marks the celebration of a savior who was willing to leave the comfort of His kingdom and assume human form, where He had to feel every human emotions and pain just like us. It was an uncommon sacrifice in which God the Father gave up His one and only son Jesus to come to endure tremendous atrocity for the sake of a humanity, most of which have yet to acknowledge His existence. As stated in scripture, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus suffered immeasurable amount of torture such as beating, profuse shedding of His blood, and His having to carry an enormous cross that they would later use to crucify Him. That cross He carried, while being flagged, symbolized all of our wrong doings, sickness and diseases, and our challenges (past, present, and future). He then was hung on that cross, with His hands and feet nailed to that tree. Can you imagine? Nobody would ever go to such length; but there is One who did it just for you and me. Why? Because that’s how much God loves each and everyone of us! “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
This is not a fable, but a true event well-documented by witnesses (His disciples) who spent copious amount of time with Jesus during His time on earth. This is the reality of the God who created the universe and everything in it, us included. And when it comes to us, He calls us the apple of His eyes. Such reference in itself (i.e. the apple of His eyes) tells a lot about the intensity of His love for us all. It also explains why He went to the drastic measure of sending His only son to suffer a brutal death through crucifixion in order to save and give eternal life to mankind. Thus, Jesus who knew no sin came with the sole purpose of giving up His life for you and me. “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.”

So, that’s what many of us are celebrating this Easter Holiday: The sacrifice of the cross through the death of Jesus Christ.

What makes this event most significant is the fact that He died, but He didn’t remain in the tomb where he was laid to rest;

otherwise His death would have been just an altruistic act. What made this occurrence most relevant and beneficial to us

is that three days after His death He arose, which gave us the right to be called redeemed… Redeemed from sin and death,

thus giving us eternal life. His death and resurrection ushered us into the new era of living under  His loving grace. We get

to have access to all sorts of blessings as a result of the sacrifice that cost God a whole lot. Indeed, it is a sacrifice like no

other.

Happy Easter!!!

 

 

Louise Beaubrun-Macaluso, PhD

 

 

 

GIVE US THIS DAY LOVE

 

A new year has begun; with the new year comes new hope. For me, my hope is always wrapped around prayers to the sovereign One who can turn hope into reality. My prayer is for the world to learn to connect through the bond of love. I pray that the world learn the true meaning of love. By so doing, love will be lived, not just talked about. Rather than mentions of love only through words and emojis, we would see love in action in how we interact with and treat one another regardless of creed, race, and societal rank. Love will trigger compassion in us quicker than the need to find fault.

My prayer is for everybody to cultivate a great desire to seek to fully understand others and their situation rather than jump to hasty judgements that could result in emotional damages, as well as unethical treatments. One can’t begin to know how to interact with another individual unless both parties invest time in learning about each other. Otherwise they will end up forming prejudgments toward one another based on preconceived ideas, which most of the times are far from the truth. That in turn result in unfair treatments, some of which are deadly. The great Martin Luther King Jr. explained this type of predicament in these words: “I am convinced that men hate each other because they fear each other. They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each other.”

The number one ingredient that will enable us all to come together is LOVE. The latter will bring everyone to a place where we see one another on the same level: the human level. To get there, we need to put a stop to the disillusioned belief that one’s social status and/or race make them better than the other. The reality is we are all one. The size of your bank account, your skin color, or your level of intelligence does not make you a better human being than others. A simple visit to the hospital is proof that we’re all susceptible to sickness and death, irrespective of riches, educational ranks, religion, or ethnicity. Such irrevocable truth can only bring us to this humble realization: “But for the grace of God there go I.” Also, in considering the position of those who are at a disadvantage, love would trigger a sense of not only compassion, but also gratitude, as opposed to an air of superiority and carelessness. My prayer is that we acquire the love that will make us appreciate the blessings and the ensuing privilege these blessings provide, without changing us into uncaring individuals.

The heart of the problems being reported daily in the news is a shortage of love. I pray we develop hearts of compassion, hearts that radiate pure love. Then, and only then, can we truly see the hurt of others and not just when heartaches and/or injustice come knocking on our door. We cannot afford to continue viewing unjust social occurrences (discrimination, hate crime, social inequality, or any form of injustice) only from a business/legalistic perspective. Our hearts ought to get involved in order for us not to overlook the human aspect of everything.

Give us this day love. The bible summarizes the need for this prayer very well. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14
Give us this day love.

Louise Beaubrun-Macaluso, PhD

HARD KNOCK LIFE As we enter the month of December I start to think about everything that I need to do in preparation for the perfect Christmas season. Gifts to buy, meals to prepare, Christmas outfits and family photos, Christmas cards, decorations, parties and yearly traditions to uphold, the list goes on. It’s barely started and I’m already overwhelmed. Sometimes I have to stop and put things in perspective. Just last week, my friend and co founder of FPSM was in Haiti overseeing the installation of a well on our foundation’s property. A well that will bring clean water closer to the people of Milot and help provide an easier way of life to the surrounding community. During my time in Haiti, last month, I was able to witness the struggle of getting water for myself. We needed to fill a large barrel of water so that we could mix cement for our chicken coop. About seven of us jumped in the truck and drove down to the closest well. We decided it would take too long to pump the water from the well and since we didn’t need the water to be clean, we could just get it from the nearby stream. We took buckets down to the water, filled them up and then walked them back up the bank to the road so we could fill the large barrel sitting in the back of the truck. After several trips down to the stream we had a full barrel of water. Because of the intense rain Haiti had received that week, the road leading to the property was muddy and uneven. The thick mud was too much for our truck and we were stuck. The more we tried to get out of this muddy hole, the more difficult it became. We ended up wedged next to a stone post with our large barrel full of water still in the truck and no water where we really needed it. There was nothing else to do but haul buckets of water up and over the hill to our waiting chicken coop. It was hard work just to get water. It took half of our day just to get water where we needed it. This is what life is like every day for the people in Milot. What freedom it is for me to be concerned about the perfect outfits my kids will wear for our Christmas pictures. What freedom it is for me to drag boxes out of my attic to decorate my home. What freedom it is to get fresh water from my kitchen and bathrooms. In the book of Galatians, Paul writes to the people there telling them that they are no longer slaves and that they have been adopted as children of God. They have been set free from their bondage. Yet they still lived for the world. Galatians 4:8-11 says this, “But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. Sometimes the pressure of this season can feel like bondage rather than freedom. I pray that during this time of year we can all see past our world view of Christmas and celebrate the freedom we have been given through the birth of Jesus Christ. Claire Owen (Guest blogger from Foundation Pierre Smith Mondelus). www.foundationpsm.org

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