The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A Story about A Dog and How it reminded me of God's Faithfulness!

As I sit here, wondering how the pieces will ever come together in this puzzle called life. I remembered another time I was sure nothing would work out when I realized I could no longer keep my dog, Franklin, My spirit was crushed. I felt sure beyond repair physically sick with fear of what would happen to him. Who would take this dog I loved so much! If you are not a dog lover, and no I don't mean a dog-liker.  I mean a dog lover bordering on being the crazy person who is not embarrassed to say I'd rather have a dog than a spouse, then  I both pity you and envy you. Those of you who think having a dog means you feed it, and leave it outside. I am a dog lover, there is no I like you, its I fall head of heels in love, it is you're my friend and I'm, not just your master. Who in the world could or would take this dog who had endured most likely abandonment and abuse. Then He got so attached to my mom she was his person. He lost her, and losing him, felt like I was losing her all over again. It seemed so unfair. Yet God provided Lana. She served as his groomer, and she became his savior. I called her one day balling my eyes out. " I can't take care of him, He deserves better", I said through uncontrollable sobs. Remembering, I told God if he would make a way,, I'd surrender Franklin. Can you help me find him a home? She was kind and gracious said she would try and find someone, I told her I had 2 weeks before I had to rehome him. She considered a few people, but I wanted him groomed before He left me, and she agreed. The day He was groomed Lana asked me if she could keep him overnight and take him on a trip to see family after He was groomed. "Sure," I said... I was relieved I knew time was running short. Franklin never made it on the trip, and because the trip did not occur at the time, and Franklin has been with Lana ever since that day. Through the tears, worry and broken heart God remained faithful. He provided and what seemed impossible, became better for him than I could ever dream. If I am honest, as much as it hurt my heart, it was best for me too. It still hurts, and a few tears rolled down my cheeks, even though now a few years have passed.
       What this story reminds me of today, as I embark on unknown territory with something else, It isn't an unknown path to God! He knows where the road leads. He knows the aspects of the situation, others don't grasp. God isn't still trying to figure out the best plan, He is the best plan. Ephesians 3:20 How has recalling God'a faithfulness, helped you remember to trust him to bring your sunset to pass in your right now?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

He Will Be Back.


"Mama be back?  My three-year-old cousin asked me as we watched her favorite cartoon.  I saw the concern in her eyes as she knew she would be staying with us while her mom went out running some errands for a few hours.   In a three-year-old mind, three hours felt like forever.  "Yes, honey, she is coming back." She was then able to turn her attention back to TV.   Knowing her mom would return to pick her up gave her security.  She knew as long as her mommy was coming back to get her she would be okay, and it made the separation anxiety manageable. She often asked the question several times, but each time she asked more time passed before she would ask again,   Eventually, she started to. understand that while her mom was leaving her for a short while, she would return.
 Before her mom did come to take home, we both would encourage her to gather her belongs, before her mom came back. Sometimes she would accept the encouragement and gather her stuff, but other times, when it was time to go home, she would stall wanting to stay longer, even though a short time before she wanted her mom to come back to take her home.   I have seen this countless times from children. 

It is a reflection of Christian life at times.  We know that Jesus has told us the church He will come back to get his children, just like my cousin's mom knew she would return for my cousin, and take her home. 
   “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 38In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
40“Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. 41Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.
42“So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
45“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. 46If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. 47I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns.48But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ 49and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? 50The master will return unannounced and unexpected, 51and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  Matthew 24:37-50  find it here
Most Christians I know fall into two camps including me.  Jesus will you come back today or better yet yesterday.  This is the group I most often find myself in.  The Jesus I don't fit here.  Some days not only am I not at home here, sometimes I don't even like it here on earth.  I don't like hearing caregivers tell me how tired they are from caring for me.  I don't like the fast pace world I am living in.  I don't like racism or poverty, or sadness or fill in the blank   The next group is Jesus could you tarry a little longer, I'd like to see the kids graduate from college.  I'd like to finish painting the house first.  I would like to accomplish that bucket list, please Lord.    So which group is right?  Neither are and both are at the same time.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to see your son or daughter graduate or getting married as long as the ultimate goal is to do it primarily as a channel through which Christ is honored and exalted.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying and being grateful for gifts God provides, but if that brings you as much or more joy than seeing Jesus, then you are likely missing the point for which you were created. The point is to both a relationship with The Living God and to honor and exalt Him, and sharing with others how they get the point to.  
On the flip side, the Jesus come now the group has to be careful to understand God has a reason for all things, and as long as He waits in coming, it serves His purpose to give all the opportunity to turn away from self and to place their trust in Christ.  I can't help but wonder if He rightly lingers giving his children the chance to develop a heart like his or to point loved ones and friends to His Son.    In seasons of life, I've been in both groups as a believer.  A Pastor once told me, you want to be mindful of eternity, but never so mindful you can't be any earthly good.  Dr. John Barber.   
Remember I wrote we encouraged my cousin to gather her, belongings so she would be ready when it was time to leave and go home?  It all comes down to being ready and what motives we have. Getting ready with confidence for eternity may be having that conversation that is awkward.   It might mean asking yourself if Jesus were to come back tomorrow, what would you want to do differently?  It could mean honestly asking is it Jesus I'm longing to be with or a desire for the hard earthly circumstances to be over?  The point, Don't Miss the Maker of Your Sunset as you pursue the sunset the Son of God has prepared for you and for me!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The space between us. An update letter to you...

Where has the sunset lady been since her last post on November 15th?  Well in January my wonderful grandmother's health, began to decline, the details I will not share because while I lived the story with her, it is not my own story to tell.  I will honor her with the dignity and grace because while the mind does strange things and even alters personality and memory, the heart is still there.      I will say a dementia diagnosis was finally made and medication provided.    Her quality of life has improved a lot since being on medication.       She is a trooper!  So many funny moments and a few repetitive ones also.    One thing is for sure, she is super loved and support.  In a new, way she is just as protective and caring as she always has been.      I have increased the amount of care I'm getting through the agency because needs change.
 Soon two of my caregivers will be on leave which is two of my most steady workers.    Working those details out currently.    The extra hours are of help both for my family and I are true lifesavers.  I am thankful for God's provision.     Mumzie does not get out much, because is physically and mentally exhausting, but she did d go to her grandson's baseball game recently, and a Good Friday church service and Easter Lunch with family.   She enjoyed all of these.   I continue to volunteer with Choices on Tues and sometimes Fridays.
Thursday is store and errands day, I like to feel as if I am contributing to the house in a few small ways.  Plus I hope it is hopeful it helps Aunt as she so kindly brings our dinner at least 5 nights week when caregivers are not set to come.  She and my uncle both face health challenges, but neither of them misses a beat.    They often pick up all four grandkids from school and of course, their grandchildren adore them.  My aunt takes my grandmother to all her doctor visits.  She is active in church on numerous committees and is checking to make sure my grandmother has her meds prepared.  She is very good at multitasking and is one of the most organized people God ever made.  She serves as a taxi for her family I included.   I truly don't know how she and my uncle have anything left they do so much, and I often think God,  I know everyone different, but I both envy and admire their ability to juggle so many things at once.  Not only happy things like Birthdays, weddings, births but really had stuff like loss and unexpected crisis too. Why can't I be more like them?  I often ask myself this question.  Why is it I seem to require more physical and even sometimes even more emotional rest than others.    There always seems to an obstacle with my care, and just when you think one problem is solved other surfaces.  Yet God always gives the grace to meet my every need.  He is always there to pick me up when I fall or feel as if things are just hard.    Am I saying my life is harder or as hard than someone else's,  no?   Am I throwing my own pity party I pray this isn't the case?     My point is this,  Jesus never pretended He did not get tired, nor did He claim life or the cross an easy or even that it was desirable.  John 16:33

Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat. down at the right hand of God’s throne."   Hebrews 12:2 Jesus knew there would be an unbearable shame and agony going to the cross.  It wasn't all he knew though.  He knew the souls the cross would bring forgiveness, hope, and peace to a desperately dying and broke wounded imperfect people with names, skin tones, personalities, and pasts.      It was the joy of what the cross would accomplish and fulfill the divine purpose of The Father which enabled Jesus to endure.  As I write this there is a question floating around in my brain.  How do you find your sunset moments when life demands you rise to the occasion when life is hard,  Moments are mixed with joy and sadness.    How do you find your sunset when busy screams loud?   When worry makes you weary, and you find you tempted to live on autopilot instead of embracing intentional abudnant living?  
     Here are some helpful reminders for me.  I hope you find these helpful.
1. breathe
2. Look to the example Jesus gave!
3.    Look for encouragement and blessings others have blessed you with.  For me this week it has birthdays cards and cakes!  
4. Resist the urge to compare to others.  I did the opposite above.     



    Slowly working on choosing to Live!    Don't miss your Sunset!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

100 Reasons

Some of you know in years past I have shared my thankful 100 for my own reflection also hoping it will inspire your own list whether you share it with others or not.
Sometimes I do this privately some years publicly, but the important thing is to do it  Nike said it, culture said it, but the Bible said it first when referring to giving thanks.' in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.'  


1 THESSALONIANS 5:18
https://my.bible.com/bible/1588/1TH.5.18
In no certain order:
here are my 100 Reasons I'm thankful in 2018

  1. Jesus sought me and Bought me.
  2. My brother, sister in Love and Nieces,
  3. The memory of my mom and dad
  4.   Mumzie, Margaret and Ron, Bill and Mandy, Kim & Brad and all the kids.
  5. Beach Family, Hand family
  6. extended family
  7. Two Rivers Church 
  8. Love and continued relationships with BHBC 
  9. 2rc Kids
  10. The chance to live at home
  11. New relationships 
  12. Personal growth
  13. Basic needs met
  14. Clean water
  15. Health
  16. Clothes
  17. Transportation 
  18. Alexa
  19. Caregivers 
  20. Choices Chattanooga 
  21. Purpose
  22. No migraine today
  23. The strength to admit I was in the wrong
  24. Our Beach trip
  25. Hanging out with Jenn
  26. Playing with Hope and Abbi
  27. Watching Alex
  28. Watching Harper play Softball 
  29. Holding Maddie the first time
  30. Almost going to jail with Megahan friends Lindsay and Megahan.   
  31. Having a friend like Kristin to hold my head when. I puke my brains our.
  32. Lindsay and Dave’s Wedding 
  33. Cassie Reyes 
  34. Surprise visits with Mike Graham 
  35. Time with the House Family
  36. Time with Justin
  37. Keeping In touch with The Howell family
  38. Sisters of Hope
  39. Prayer from Todd 
  40. Laughs with Michelle 
  41. Running almost out of gas with Houston
  42. Raw Oysters with Matt
  43. Time with Aunt Phyllis and Garrett 
  44. Watching Brady Wrestle 
  45. Watching Jocelyn decorate 
  46. Dinner delivered
  47. Laughs with Margaret and Ron
  48. Chats with Sis In love 
  49. Hugs from kids at church
  50. Listening to clients
  51. Logan and Liz
  52. Friends
  53. Tom Henley
  54. Sammi Dees 
  55. Kattie Dees
  56. The legacy of Susan Morris and Willma Fowler
  57. Martha Rodgers
  58.  Marsha Rodgers 
  59. A hug from Dianne Mason
  60. A sweet card from Choices 
  61. Freedom to risk and Freedom to fail
  62. Sandra Rose and het prayers
  63. Lana and Franklin
  64. Insurance 
  65. Money
  66. Water filter
  67. WiFi
  68. Maggie
  69. Macy
  70. Our neighbors 
  71. The UPS Guy at work. 
  72. My fan
  73. My Computer 
  74. Jon Teague’s real how are yous 
  75.  Chris Jessen’s real bulleye how did he know that prayers
  76. Katie Jessen’s ask all the right questions kind of caring
  77. Katie Teague and her sincere heart for people
  78. Brantley Robinson.and his contagious passion
  79. Sheila Dale and her real heart
  80. People and their generosity to me
  81. Barbara, Inga, and Brenda. 
  82. Courtnie May
  83. Joking with Kevin Murdock.
  84. My favorite Bama Fan Bryan Murdock.  
  85. Moms Journal
  86. Medicine
  87. Bed
  88. Heaven
  89. People who allow me to cry
  90. People who allow me to be happy 
  91. The chance to tell Maddie about mom
  92. Mumzie knows who I am
  93. Time with her
  94. Sleep
  95. Safe drivers
  96. Friendsgiving 
  97. Shower chair
  98. caravan
  99. So many more things and people Spirit Horse Ranch Lance and his mom's cookies.  Blackwell Automotive.
  100. The word of truth 
  101. Oh and just for Kicks Michael W Smith as a bonus

Sunday, September 30, 2018

He Is Not Asleep, He is watching.

    Some chronic health problems this year, and some additional responsibilities have caused me to make sleep a priority.   I actually enjoy it.  It is funny when I go to sleep for the last couple of years when I fall asleep, a bulldozer couldn't awaken me I giggled when my sister in love told me my newborn niece gets mad if you wake her from sleep.  Doesn't everyone I thought.  My brother and I both inherited this from our mom who always taught us not to say much until we had at least been up an hour or so.
      I have not met one parent who does not find joy in watching their child sleep.   Partly as a result of the insanity which is referred to as parenthood.  Beyond that though, there is nothing like seeing the peaceful image of a child you love sleeping safely.    Sleep can be healing, but it can also cause a person like me to miss more than one alarm.  Knowing how much I have cherished sleep recently, I was awed when I read Psalm 121 I would not want most people to see me sleep, because I talk in my sleep, sweat and someone told me a few years ago I snore, but I cannot confirm, nor will I. Recently I was scared.  Scared of me.  Scared of the feelings I felt so much so I got out my iPad and started reading my Bible.  I could not get my mind off of things I’ve done in my past, or things I should have done better.  I could not turn off the negative dialogue in my head.  You will always struggle with that, and if people knew they would never admit to knowing you, and they would never want to be around you.  How can you be her daughter, and still struggle with depression and worry?  You will never be half the person she was.  You know she was total opposite of who of who you are.  You need to figure things out before it’s too late. You know you should do more to contribute and be more helpful.  Why do you think you can’t keep caregivers, you are too picky and no one can deal with you? These were just a few of my critical thoughts gone unchecked.  Since my depressive episode two years ago, I occasionally wonder,  if I fail cope right, or make the wrong choice if I will end up that way again.   
Then I came across Psalm 121"He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.” 121:3-4
I knew it before, you know like when, you know how to spell a word, but when you can’t believe it really is spelled correctly.  This is how it was when I read these verses.  I know the bible says God watches over Israel and does not slumber.  How can I be sure He will watch over me, as a parent over their child?  How can you?  God does not change!  How can you believe God is watching over you?  How can we believe God when He promises not to slumber, but to be present and watchful in our lives, no matter what season we are experiencing?  It is rather exciting to think God is not weary of us, and He does grow tired of our cries or joys.  I dare say He is not even weary for us, in a sense, because He watches and knows the outcome of the story called life.  As I read the verses, I began to recall so many ways God has and is watching over me.  I asked him to help me remember He isn’t sleeping.  I asked him to help me believe He is present and active in the details of my day.  It is making a difference in how I think, and how I feel and hopefully how I act.  How might it help you to embrace your sunsets, if you really believed He IS and has been watching over you?  He isn’t just casually noticing you. He is actively protecting, forgiving, you and, loving you!  He is not tired of you.   

Action Step:  Make a list of ways God is watching over you.  Ask him to help you believe He is not slumbering in any season of your life, and thank him for being your God who is great and does not sleep or leave you to handle things without his watch care.    You pray for me, I will pray for you, because I want this promise to lead us toward the beautiful sunsets He has prepared for us.   

Sunday, August 05, 2018

What I learned from a MIddle School Kid about sharing the Gospel.

A  few weeks ago, something brought my attention to a young man on Sunday who shared with students quite a bit younger than him how God loves even the people who do not choose him.  His statement stopped me cold and I listened.    It then reminded me of something I prayed in January you know those new year goals and dreams.  I prayed that God would give me the boldness to tell someone, not about Jesus, many know about him, but less know about how enter into a relationship with Jesus one that would not be solely about avoiding hell and entering heaven though that is part of my desire, because I know  what it is to live apart from Christ for hours, days weeks years and months looking for the assurance that I could know I had been forgiven and did not have to face condemnation and punishment from God   I would not want anyone or myself  to experience an eternity without God through Christ.  I imagine nothing more hopeless than the thought of this.  No rescue, no fulfillment, No compassion, No joy, no justice, No restoration.  No joy no peace.  No comfort, no absolute.  Nothing would matter at all without access to God through Christ for me.  Yet I know many I deeply value believe that their greatest hope is found within the source of self-ability.
       Anyway. evangelism isn't something that comes naturally to me or something I would ever say is something I am gifted with.  When you spend years in a sea of doubt regarding your eternal security all through middle school and through a good portion of high school, it seems almost hypocritical to share the Gospel with others.  Satan will tell you can't share the gospel with others because look at you, you wasted years wondering if Jesus really did rescue you after all.   You will only confuse people the enemy says, so you should not try.  Maybe you never had such thoughts, and if you did you sure would not admit those to all of your blog readers right?  I remember that moment in high school telling God I didn't want to live with the invisible question mark above my head anymore.  I knew I heard the Gospel at age seven, and in whatever capacity I could at the time remember praying that Jesus would be in my life, and recited I knew and believed Jesus died for my sin.  Somehow through the years the memories and details of that event began to get fuzzy.  This led me down at least 3 years of miserable doubt wondering if my salvation "took" for lack of a better phrase.  I kept my secret torment to myself many years, but those doubts led me to dig deep into scripture, long after I had been baptized and joined the church.  One night I guess somehow my mom seemed to be aware this was an issue I was dealing with, and she said "you know T.J. if you are worried about it all you do is ask, and God will settle it.  So one night I did.  Something like God I don't know if I was saved then and just don't remember it, or if I simply have a hard time trusting you to do as you promised but either way I don't want to live in this state of any more, so please help me know that I belong to you.  While many might have walked the aisle or been dunked again I never felt I needed to because for me it was more for my benefit than anyone else.   I knew everyone else was assured of my commitment to follow Christ years ago the only person who doubted that was me and given the limitations I had at that point, I do not feel that Jesus was commanding me to a "rebaptism" because for me it was an issue of my choosing to believe Jesus had the power to rescue me and that he would do as He said He would.  In my case, It was an issue of my not asking him to. Why am I sharing this with and what does it have to do with a middle school boy from church?
About a month ago my sister-in-law boldly made the courageous step to share her story and her obedient choice to be baptized again. As much I never wanted to share this part of my story on Facebook.  I was so encouraged and challenged by her openness this I had to ask myself why was I so reluctant to share my own story?  After that night, which I mentioned above, it was amazing how God opened my eyes and heart to the many verses of assurance.  That night was a turning point for me.  Fast forward to a few weeks ago to hearing this middle schooler tell his younger peers in his own words  God loves everyone, even people who do bad stuff.  At that moment, I realized in many situations you don't need a formal plan of Salvation or a course formula on sharing the Gospel.  We know the truth and facts, but we are scared to speak up and say this is what Jesus has done for me, and I know He can and will this for you.  In fact, He has done this for you already, He is just waiting for you to put your yes on the table.
I don't know if I will I get to see someone come to Christ by sharing my faith.  That isn't the point, the point is am I able and willing to set my pride aside to share with others the best thing that ever happened to me?  I am more willing than I was a month ago, due in no small part to a middle schooler who took God at his word, Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.1 Tim. 4:12
  Don't miss your sunset share what counts and relax in the truth.  This young man shared what He knew to be true of God.  What an example to be followed.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Finding my Sunset with The Elephant In the Room... Post contains adult topics. PG-13*

I don't usually like for Cerebral Palsy to be the focus of my writing, but lately, I feel the need to let people into this part of my life, because I'm building some new relationships, and I wonder sometimes if people are curious what a snapshot of a typical week consists of for me.  I was born with Cerebral Palsy often referred to as CP for short.  My mom went to the doctor for a check-up in her seventh month of pregnancy, and doctors said everything was fine.  The crazy thing is her back was hurting at work that night.  She apparently worked 4 days 10 hours.  She found herself in the back seat of her boss's car being taken to a Halifax Daytona Beach Hosptial.  She arrived at the hospital at 930 PM and she always told me she believed I'd born in the back seat of that car the nurses rushed and told her there was no time for any medicine.  The truth mom had the strongest pain tolerance and did not have medicine with me or my younger brother no surprise to either of us. I was born April 29th, weighing in at  3 pounds @ 10:02 PM.  Stayed in the NICU for forty-five days.  Cerebral can be caused by several different things, but in my case, it was believed to be the result of brain damage from Oxygen Depravation.  Many years later I found out a couple from Canada were on Vacation in Daytona and the same thing happened with there baby, but the day I was released from the hospital their baby sadly died.    I wonder what that baby's life might have been like if their outcome had a different ending.  I also wonder how things may have been different if the reverse had occurred.
  There are a few types of CP and no person with CP is affected exactly the same way even if they have the same type.  Some have speech problems I do not., but as much as I talk, people might wish I did sometimes.  I'm kidding.   Some people with CP walk with a limp or cane.  One side is typically stronger than the other.  I am stronger on the right side of my body and have minimal use of my left side.     Cognitive issues can be common, but not in every case.  People often assume that when you say brain damage, it means you don't have cognitive abilities,   They wonder if a person with CP can express themselves or process information most people I know with CP can including me can, but this is not always the case.  CP is anything but a cookie cutter condition.  It is best to ask questions instead of making assumptions.   CP is such a normal part of my existence, questions people have often do not occur, to me. but  I'm not offended by questions.  What is the question that most surprises me?  Once a college student asked me if I could have sex, for a or a disability panel... I  joked and said are you offering yourself?  Quicky I explained I can only speak for me, but the instruments work, I just choose not to use them.  One, because I believe sex is intended for marriage, and I have no expectations of being married.    What is the most common question you are asked?. How do I use the bathroom?  I use adult briefs because my hips and knees are fixed for the most part making it impossible for me to utilize a toilet.     I have caregivers that come a minimum of two times per day, and a max of 3 for showering and personal care.
What do I like about CP that it keeps me humble and patient because I don't have another option and there are times that I would hope it makes more dependant on Christ than I might be without CP because I'm stubborn and do not like depending on others for help.  I like that it makes me more compassionate, and forces me to have a sense of humor about a lot of things.  Can I drive a car?  Nope, I can barely drive my chair to get where I'm going grin
If given the option would I choose CP honestly no, but given the option, I would not choose a lot of things and most of the time I'm glad God does not entrust me with such an option in the hear and now.    So if you could give someone the chance to view an aspect of your life, what would that be?  Love to hear about it!
How do I embrace my sunset with CP?  I look to God, I pray to be content in plenty or want.  I live out my purpose some days poorly other days with great joy!  I know my friends with physical challenges will have great insight to share, which may be much different and contrasting to me my own.   That is a good thing as we have different lives and are different people Feel free to share those.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Savoring Our Sunset at St George Island!










  It took my breath away the bright ball of orange filling the evening sky  The blue sky served as the perfect backdrop, and time stood still.  Awed by the beauty!  Enthralled by joy, and certain my soul could not hold it forever.  Relationships deepened.  The sunset above the water soothing my soul. Many moments of pinching myself to see if I was dreaming.  I never imagined the possibility of witnessing a Florida sunset again.  I never believed the ocean would greet me with arms open, but it happened.  It was not something I dared to pray for or dream of but He knew.  God knew the desires that I buried in my heart.    I not only witness a beautiful sunset I experienced it savored, it, and shared with some special people.    Now I remember it!
Any number of events could have happened to prevent us despite much planning, to see the sunset.  We could have run out of gas or had van trouble before getting there, but none of those events occurred.  Me running out of gas?  Yall I can't ever let that happen right Houston?  God allowed me the joy of seeing the most amazing FL Sunset on the last day of vacation.  We had attempted to view the sunset the night before, but could not because of a brushfire nearby.   We ended up playing games that night as a group, which is another one of my favorite things to do because it connects human beings and requires them to interact.   We laughed more that night because none of us tried to force an agenda, we chose to see a change in plans, as the chance to make another type of sunset moment, one much more figuratively than literal, and it was every bit as satisfying as seeing the actual sunset the following evening.  God knew I would savor the sunset more by sharing it with people I'd already made memories with and game night provided the means and platform
It is important to use our past moments those special sunset moments to motivate us in our less than exciting ventures and less than sunset like moments harder to find.    It is hard coming back from the beach to caregivers quitting or who have already quit while you are gone.    Plus limited conversation and ongoing uncertainty with chronic stomach problems which lead to other problems  Then my computer having to be restored this week and losing three years of my own prayer journals    Knowing God loves me enough to bless me with this trip, gives me hope for future, and gratitude for such a sweet gift! When was the last time you let yourself savor God's love and the love others have for you?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

if,Mother’s Day hurts,your heart,.thats ok.

I know so many of you who dread at least two holidays in the year.  Some of you dread both Mother's and or Father's Day nearly every year because you either long to be a parent, and that dream remains unfulfilled, or you lost children or parents you'll never get back, at least not the way you did before.  I wish I could look in the eyes of your soul, and tell you how truly sorry I am for the sorrow these two days in the calendar year bring to you, whether it is because of death, divorce, infertility, or an estranged relationship with those you love. It could be all or none of these reasons that leave you feeling left out, and forgotten in these holidays  Let's just say what we are thinking, but aren't brave enough to say it, because we know the looks will get from onlookers. It isn't right or fair you have to deal with the ache in your heart this year or other years passed by but the truth is life isn't fair and isn't right.  Sometimes, it is just as my nine-year-old cousin says, "life is life" and you have to deal.  Our culture is uncomfortable with the harsh realities of life, and so we do whatever is needed to dull the hurt and discomfort we feel.  We attempt to numb sorrow, with whatever works.  Sometimes it is social media, though that rarely is helpful because it is like a megaphone in your ears and a dagger in your heart.  Sometimes, it is eating the Whole bag of brownie brittle I may or may not have done this.  Sometimes, it is more dangerous, like,self medacating wit( a substance of one kind or another
 This is not a post where I'm going say you are not coping well or doing it or you should do this instead.  I simply want to tell you God is there to meet you in your pain, even you don't believe He is.  I know I can't believe this for you any more than you can convince me to believe it.  All I can do is tell you what promise I'm clinging to and maybe just knowing someone cares will help whether you believe it or not.   "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:9-10 Do you feel weak?  Do you ever wonder if God's grace is sufficient for this weekend much less your life and future?  Let me tell you are not alone as you wonder, but as you wonder, the promise is still true,   A friend said to me today, I'm praying for you this weekend, it took me a minute to consider what she meant, as life gets us busy doing so that we don't have time to connect with the void that is as apparent as a neon sign.  I appreciate it as most would think it has been a few years now, I'm sure she is used to it.   I'm not used to it, and in some ways I hope I never am, because to be accustomed to the void is to miss the beauty of entering into ministry.  One of my new tradtions in the last few years has been to give my grandmother flowers.  I know she has a daughter she adores and that daughter would and has done everything for her.  That still does does not change the fact that she lost one daughter, and we lost our mother. My Aunt lost her sister, and the list goes on. It.feels like something that would makei my mom smile, even though the flowers might not be the most elaborate.
A word to those celbrating this weekend, never apologize or think you need to feel guilty for celbrating and vauling your parent,or your child this is good, healthy and right to do.  All of us will be without a parent, parents, or a child some day, and so savor the moments you have.  If your realtionship is messy or complcated make peace with it again.  That might mean accepting and forgiving a parent who never was able to give you what you hoped for.  What  ever you need to do to to do to begin to heal, you can start now. If you,need to rest or cry or write a letter, or make a phone call do what you neeed to do.  If you need to pray at home one sunday, out of the year on purpose so be it.  By the way i am not suggesting that you do that, so dont have your Pastor write me to tell me how wrong I am.  Im simply saying especally on these hoildays, God gives new mercies and even special ones,  Whatever you do, it will go a long way torward healing if you reach out to support someone    In need.  I have seen this so many times Whatever we feel this weekend or other days in our,lives,  We have to know God’s grace can and does sustain us not just in minds, but in our hearts and,that is something.only God gives.