Friday, May 4, 2018

Not always the way things appear~

In December of 2015 one of my co-workers gave each of the ladies in the office a small Poinsettia. Mine sat on my desk for a while, but wasn't getting the light she (yeah, I named her Abby) needed so moved her into a room by a window so that she could bask in the sunlight. I left a note near her to "water me if you see that I need a drink". She did much better by that window. She's gone through lots of changes, like shedding leaves, growing bigger, to even looking like death this past Christmas. To the point that people were picking on her grisly appearance. There were some beautifully fresh cut flowers sitting next to her on the ledge that evening, and I have to admit she looked pretty bad. But she was not given up on. She was watered, turned regularly so the sun shone on all of her, and loved - not given up on or thrown away as suggested by some. Today, nearly 5 months later, she is vibrant, tall, and full of life! I'm so thankful that my life, much like Abby, with the ups and downs, thriving and languish, was cared for in a loving and nurturing manner. It shows me that the lives we pour into should not ever be given up on as dead and hopeless. It may look impossible, it may seem that the only option is to walk away, but when things look bleak we should continue to love and nurture. As long as the soil is good and there is a little life in there, there is hope! I can tell you for certain that those beautifully fresh cut flowers that sat next to her that day making her look even more pathetic, have long since lost all life. All of their colorful petals have fallen off and they have been disposed of. But look at Abby today, she has beautiful green and red leaves on her and she's standing tall. She's made it through an ugly dry season and come out beautiful.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and Your nurturing. Thank You so much that when we looked hopeless, You still poured into us. Thank you for the foundation that I have in You. Thank You God that You never leave me nor forsake me. Thank You for showing me that while there are others around me that look beautiful on the outside, they still need You. Outward appearance is beautiful but it only lasts a short time. God I seek to be more like You inside and out. Continue to form me into being more like You, loving, nurturing, caring, constant, and persistent. I know this means many more times of trials, and I welcome them if it means being more like, and closer to You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Today's (short) thoughts~

May 2, 1992
26 years ago today I walked down the aisle to commit and join my forever with another.  Our invitation was a verse from the book of Ecclesiastes.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  It was not quickly broken, but it was in fact broken.  10 years ago, my now ex posted on a social media page a picture of the two of us with the caption "16 years and I still get that feeling".  Only months later he was expressing that he didn't know if he was still in love with me.  This made zero sense to me.  It could be only one thing.  That in fact was the thing.  He had allowed the devil a foothold and the devil did his finest work and destroyed a sacred union.  It has been nearly 10 years and I still get that sucker punched in the gut feeling of overwhelming pain and sadness...  

I will never celebrate 17 years of marriage with someone again.  I will never celebrate milestone anniversaries with someone at my age now.  This saddens my heart.  Thankfully, I have the love of the Lord.  I still have the pain, but know my future is in His hands and do my best to trust and rest in that. 

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Foolishness - Grace

Oh how many times have I not done what I was told and found myself somewhere I didn't want to be? Jonah should be an example to me... I never paid attention to this portion before. The waters had surrounded him... even to his soul. Jonah had weeds wrapped around his head. After he cried out to God, God brought him out of the pit. It was his own fault that he was there, but God in His grace rescued Jonah from his own foolish ways. I'm so thankful that God is God and He forgives and restores. I hate that I fail Him, and do not desire to, but I still do... daily... God of mercy, and God of grace I love You, and thank You for never giving up on me. In Jesus Name, Amen. 

"The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; Weeds were wrapped around my head. I went down to the moorings of the mountains; The earth with its bars closed behind me forever; Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord , my God" (Jonah 2:5-6).

Friday, September 8, 2017

Light Touch~

I remember my former Pastor’s wife saying “keep a light touch on things.”  This was encouragement to not value any earthly possession more than life and relationship with Christ.  Realize that there is no “thing” that we can save or take with us when our time here on this earth is over.  Regardless of where your faith is, no one has ever been able to take anything of tangible worth or value to the grave with them.  During these past few weeks of watching the fires on the west coast, the devastation in Houston and surrounding areas, earthquake in Mexico, and the current hurricane Irma that has already destroyed land, taken lives, and is soon to be making landfall on the east coast has made that statement come back to my mind.  

Keep a light touch on things.  

I was sharing with a few friends at work last week about this.  Thinking about all of the loss in Houston, the houses that will need to be leveled, totaled vehicles, loss of most earthly possessions makes this more real.  No matter how much we acquire, we cannot save anything, or control what happens to things.   

As I look around my house at all of the “things” that I have, I have to admit that there are items that I would hate to lose, but none that are more valuable than my children.  They are the only thing I truly care to “take with me” when I go.  Praying for those who have to find new normal, and who have to start from scratch.  

Praying that communities come together to support each other.  Praying that we can all learn to keep a light touch on things. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Cherish what you have~

Written January 6, 2014 -

If you are married, go tell your spouse you love them! Things may be difficult right now, but it is a moment. Take a moment to remember why you are married in the first place. Remember those butterflies in your stomach at the very thought of them; those feelings that you couldn't possibly spend enough time together. You made a commitment, keep it. This world is full of things that will try to destroy your union. Don’t give in to the temptations tossed out there by the devil himself. Whatever is going on right now is temporary… good or bad. Embrace the difficulties, for in them there are opportunities for growth and strength to the marriage. If things are good, continue to pour into each other, for certain there will come challenges. Do not ever think it is ok to get chummy with a member of the opposite sex at work or anywhere else. It may begin innocently, but can be a great tool for the STUPID devil. You may think: They are so easy to talk to… They understand my struggles… They “get me”… If you are single, and they are single, GO FOR IT! If you have committed yourself in marriage: FORGET ABOUT IT!! Believe it or not your spouse “Gets you”~ You simply have to keep investing! If you have a bank account and don’t put any money into it, you are going to have NOTHING there to withdrawal.

 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

 Enjoy the now- Don’t worry about the future. Something will always be there to challenge the relationship, but if you dwell on that, it steals your joy today. Don’t let anything rob you of the beauty that can be enjoyed today, by worrying about tomorrow.

 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

If tonight were to be my last~

If tonight were to be my last night, I would want my children to know how much I love them. Each one of them have brought so much joy into my life. I want them to know that I believe in them and that they are able to achieve all they set out to do.

If tonight were to be my last night, I would want my mother to know how much I love her and I'm thankful for the life that she poured into me through all these years. I wouldn't be half the woman I am without her.

If tonight were to be my last night, I would want my closest friends to know how much I cherish every minute that we've been friends. I'm thankful for all of the ups and downs that we've gone through. Thankful we've encouraged each other, and pushed each other along.  We've seen victories, and experienced defeat, and through it all have remained close. 

If tonight were to be my last night here, I would want my ex to know I'm thankful for the 17 years that we had together. While I hate the choices that were made, and how things turned out, I'll be forever grateful that I was able to experience the happiness that I had, and to have shared the celebration of the births of our four wonderful sons.

If tonight were to be my last night, I would want my church family to know how much they have impacted my life. Teaching me the basics, watching me grow, seeing me fall, helping me back up, encouraging me to press on, loving me, and running the race with me.  I would want those who encouraged me to use the gift that God gave me in my voice to know that they helped me to grow closer to the Lord as it is such a way to communicate with Him.

If tonight were to be my last night, I would want all to know that I'm in a better place. Because God gave His only Son to die on a cruel cross because of my sin, and took the punishment that was mine. Thankfully, because I chose to believe in Him, accepted Him as my Savior, and asked Him to live in my heart, I get to spend eternity with Him.

If tonight were to be my last night, don't cry for me. Live your lives in the freedom of God's gift of life through Jesus Christ.  

We do not know when our last day will be.  Tell your loved ones that you love them!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Anxiety and depression~

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad" (Proverbs 12:25).  Having dealt with (battled!) depression myself for a number of years (it still rears it's UGLY head sometimes), I understand how consuming it can be.  There are days when you think that you just can't handle it anymore; want to curl up in a dark corner and have it all stop (and I mean ALL!).  After being on it for three years, I am happy to say that I have been completely off medicine for the last six years.  (I am not ashamed to admit that I needed help.)  It is not without some bad days, but they are bearable days, and some days in need of talking to my best friend(s) to help pull me out so that I don't sink farther into it.  I am so thankful that Christ is in my life, and that He provides me the strength that I need, and lifts my head.  There are so many people that are afraid to address it, afraid to talk about it, think that it is shameful, or disgraceful.  It is real; just as real as if your eyesight was failing and you needed glasses, or if you had a heart condition and needed to take medicine.  If you know someone, or are someone who suffers from this, please don't be afraid to talk about it!  It is NOT shameful, it is NOT disgraceful...  I don't think God would have used the word depression in His Word if it was not something that we would have to face.