Sunday, June 15, 2014

Seasons of Friendships

In the summer heat we need water to quench our thirst. Maybe you have a friend with a well of icy cold spring water. What a good friend to have in the summer!
In the winter when your feet are cold and fingers icy you could use a friend who has a nice warm fire to snuggle up next to.
Come springtime the need for a fire isn't so pressing but an umbrella would sure come in handy. The sky is raining bucket loads and you look around and see your good buddy with an umbrella big enough that you could share picnic under it. That's the friend for you! You wave and call her name as she welcomes you into your her world.
Friends are wonderful. Good for loving and laughing with, great when you're moving houses, and each friend has unique abilities and strengths in specific areas. Some friends have wells of thirst quenching water, others a warm fire to thaw the frozen chill, yet another friend can bring a bit if shelter in a stormy downpour. Each friend is valuable but sometimes we  place more value on the friend we need in the moment. When it's raining we can forget about our friend with the well she shares so generously. In the winter we're not looking for a buddy with an umbrella. I'm sure you see where this is going. Of course I intend to say that we should value our friends for who they are and not for what they can offer us but there's more. Sometimes our friends ARE what they offer us! When we are bitter and feeling used, a friend with a warm heart can thaw us. When life is drowning us in sorrow a sheltering hug can make all the difference. When we're in a desert, spiritually, emotionally, or even just lonely, the right friend can refresh our life. Thank God for friends! We should all have them - and we should all be them. When your season of thirst is over, and maybe it a season of rain, share your well! Water your thirsty friends! When you're no longer huddled by the fire, warm someone else! Share your heat! When you're coming out of the rain, hold the umbrella for someone who is desperate! Share your shelter!
Seasons change. They change daily and often they change before we sense it. Be careful to continue valuing the people who value you. If you're loved, chose to be lovable and love back.
Sometimes we have to step out of the rain and regroup before we can hold an umbrella for another, and that's okay. But when you have something to offer then don't hold back. Be the friend that you need. Be available, be real, have hard and uncomfortable conversations, listen, choose to listen even when you don't understand or even agree. Sometimes being a friend isn't about doing something, but just listening.
All this to say, the ebb and flow of life will naturally pull you this way and that. Sometimes our lives go in different directions. But if your life flows right past your friends door, make a stop now and then. Bring coffee. Or bring tissues. Don't be afraid of the hard stuff. When you're a friend in the inconvenient times, you'll have friends when you need them. If you're so busy having fun with new friends that you have no time to play with your old friends, then you'll did you have no friends at all.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Choose Your Regrets


People on their deathbeds often have regrets that fit into a few main categories. Sometimes they wish they’d had more adventure in their lives, traveled the world, or maybe created something. Some people wish they had developed a talent or earned a degree. Most often though the most bitter of all regrets has to do with love, family, and relationships.

In our lives there are usually a few key people in the day to day living. Those people consist of our live in family members, close friends and coworkers we may see frequently, and the people we search out. The loved ones we choose to connect with who add to our lives, and hopefully, we to theirs.

But there are others. People who we know and love but we don’t see as regularly due to schedule conflicts or even distance barriers. We still connect, through the telephone, social networking, weekend visits or even vacations. These people know we love them and they love us back.

What about the people we know, and maybe even love, who we aren’t including in our regular lives. They’re the more distant relatives or acquaintances that we’re content to see a few times a year at a family function or a mutual friend’s gathering, or more infrequently even, if life prevents these occasional connections from taking place. These are the people we know and we say hello if our paths cross. We enjoy their company and we move on.

There are people we may see every day without noticing. The cashier and the department store, the mailperson, the gas station attendant, the barista at Starbucks, the janitor at work. People whose names we may or may not know. These are the people whose lives often bump into ours, but who we have little or no relationship with.

Now think of the people you know and how they fit into each of these categories. Our family and close friends, our parents, our grown children, our extended families, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, , our coworkers, our fellow church goers, our car repair person, the trash man. These people are all in our lives with us. We see them, they see us. How do you greet them? Warmly? Affectionately? Distantly? Of course we apply our emotion on a case by case basis. But what if we forget to care for someone? What if we are so intent on ordering our macchiato that when we have a chance to connect we miss it, or ignore it? What if we’ve place such high value on posting our current events on Facebook that we are MISSING out on our current relationships? What if we’re so caught up in finding out what Kim Freaking Kardashian is wearing today that we miss an opportunity to catch up with grandma?  What if we care more about having the latest model iPhone that we carelessly race away from our real life? What if you’re missing out on your real life because your too busy comparing it to your neighbors life and you find it lacking so you’re discontent and pouting and wishing for more more more, bigger bigger bigger, better better better!  What have we become that we crop grandma out of the baby pictures for a more polished look? What have we done? Have we traded our family for a picture perfect lifestyle? Are there any pictures of grandpa on your family photo wall?
That’s a regret to prevent. Choose to open your life up to the un-pretty, the not cool, the people behind the scenes, people who spend their free time investing into your life. Look around you; somebody is standing off to the side, wishing for a moment of your time. Embrace the people who actually like you and stop trying to impress the rest of the world. You can start living your real life today

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Question of Commitment and also a Prayer

We ought to be rallying behind our church leaders not talking behind their backs about how imperfect they are, not discussing some instance that you felt slighted, and certainly not speculating as to what their problem are could be. We don't have a right to trash talk any church, even if we've chosen to leave it in favor of another.
I've said many times that I disliked the preaching style of one church or another, I might comment on the style of music I prefer or don't prefer, but to dig in deep with personal insults directed at church leadership and structure is plain mean spirited and wrong.
If you find yourself offended that someone didn't notice you, make an effort to forgive them and pray that God will help them see more of the people around them who desire personal moments with them.
If you believe someone said something offensive, ask God for help to forgive them, don't walk around talking about how so and so said such and such so you left the church.
We are intended to help one another when we stumble. In effort to keep your footing, don't stir up stumbling blocks for your fellows, but be a positive example of love and life giving words.
Two of the most critical and most often offended people I've ever met have been the source of the most negative speech against the church and both of these people take the Lord's name in vain in an over abundant manner, during every conversation I have with them. These people may not even realize what they're saying, but they've been very clear to point out how many Christians have offended them. It causes me to believe that if I asked why they use Gods name in vain, then I might offend them right out of the church. Or, should I be offended out by their language? Which offense is greater, their frequent OMG or my distaste of it?
Why are we so quick to hop churches when somebody says something that we don't like? Do not we realize there will be a negative Nancy, Debbie downer, doubting Thomas, sons of thunder, tax collecting Matthew, Mary of the serving nurturer, Martha the relationship nurturer, James the Just, even Judas the traitor in every congregation? Jesus has asked us to love one another, not in our perfection and righteousness but in his grace and forgiveness. You don't have to pretend you don't notice sin, but pray and seek God's will with  and a heart towards forgiveness, remembering that God has forgiven them, and me, and you. It's my honor to chose not to be offended by my brothers and sisters. It's my joy to love my neighbors who have hurt me. It's for His glory that I chose to forgive those who cause me pain.
Let's have a prayer.
Heavenly Father.
Loving, forgiving, gracious, God.
Please help me remember that when I was filthy with sin and disgrace, you loved me. You love me because your righteousness has covered my sin. You washed me of my filth and made me yours when I could never be worthy of your love or your mercy.
Thank you God for your ever flowing, never ending mercy, your fountain of forgiveness, your unending love. Thank you for showing me what it means to forgive, help me to keep forgiving because it's always so hard.
Thank you for teaching me to love. Not just for the sake of loving someone who needs love, bit because loving people is the sweetest pleasure I know. Thank you for giving me the strength to love, when I am too weak. Thank you for giving me the courage to love when I'm afraid it will hurt too much. Thank you for loving me and letting Your love shine into my broken heart.
Oh God. Thank you for teaching me that forgiveness is better for me than even the person I'm forgiving.
Is it possible that you find such sweet pleasure in forgiving and loving me, as I find when I forgive and love? How can it even be? Thank you for the rain that causes the sun shine to seems warmer and brighter in its absence. Lord, please promise me that the sun will shine again in my world. That the pain will fade and your love will fill me up and overflow from me.
Thank you for your will and your plan and your purpose for my life. Help me to see it and to trust in you.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good Morning!

Hi old buddy old pal!
I have no idea how to post a blog from my phone... and we don't have another source for internet at home. There are a couple of options here; I could write the posts and save them until I can upload, or figure out why my phone doesn't have hotspot abilities. If I can make my phone be a hotspot then I'm afraid I'll be purchasing a LOT more data than I already exceed each month. If I could refrain from logging on except when posting then that could be a solution. Just some thoughts. Beyond all of that, we've had so many changes in our lives that you might know nothing about! Allow me to fill you in, just a little.
In Oct or Nov of 2012 we did get moved into our bigger and older house. It is already brimming with stuff and junk that I should learn to get rid of. My huge garage is not yet organized but I foresee a little time in the future to accomplish that. Soon after our move we welcomed a new baby sibling to the two darling foster children who I mentioned before. Our lives were overflowing with love and happiness and I found myself asking a question that I'll never ask again; "Why is this life we have so full of love and so nearly perfect?" I just had to ask. I was waiting for reality to break in and steal my dreams-come-true.
On June 23, 2013 my beautiful mother was killed in a car accident. I sob even now as I write those terrible words. She was my closest girl friend, my biggest champion, the most devoted and enthusiastic grandmother, the most enthusiastic everything, for that matter. She was radiant and vibrant and the world is emptier, colder, and dulled without her in it. She added her own shimmer to the sunshine. The world does not know the sparkle it has lost.
3 months after losing Mom our children were removed from our home and we don't know what that future looks like. We have contacted attorneys and are trying to move forward with hiring them to sort out this situation. We're allowed to see and visit our children and we know they are safe and loved, I'll post the details separately so look for that in you have an interest.
  We've just come through our first round of holidays without Mom and we've all survived. I have spent time visiting my dad and I'm so grateful for the loved ones I have left, especially my husband. He is so loving and kind. He is gentle and caring, hard working, committed to our love, he envelopes me with his support and comfort. He is my most treasured gift from God. I also have found comfort in the rest of my family, especially my brother and sister-in-law who understand this profound loss as only they could. My group of close personal friends, some of whom I consider sisters, have lifted me when I couldn't carry on, they sob with me and allow their hearts to break as mine has. They have loved my mom and my children along side me and they feel the ache that is left behind. Among these ashes I have found such beautiful treasures and the pain makes pleasure of it so much sweeter.
God has cloaked me in His comfort, He has soothed my pain with His love and care. I know WHO holds my world together and I trust my Heavenly Father with every tear and all my pain. I know that He does not want my heart to hurt, I know that he will work all of this for my good, and for the good of our children. I do not fear the future, whatever it may hold.
Please check back for updates on our story. I would love for you to watch with us as this happy ending unfolds.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Don't Be A Statistic

Be the one who stays despite their feelings and desires, be the one who says; "I choose to put my commitment to love honor and cherish ahead of my desire to feel good or follow my dreams".   Your commitment is not to stay married, it is to stay in love, in love with the one you promised and swore and vowed with all your heart to love forever - until you die. So for awhile you may feel like a resistant groom in an arranged marriage, you might look at your wife and only see who she isn't. Eventually, though, you'll start to laugh with her about something your child said, thenyou'll laugh with her over something that you wouldn't laugh at with anyone else; you'll start seeing who she is, things that she does just because she knows you like it, or sees you need it. You'll feel yourself loving her in a way that you've never loved before, you'll love her for her and not for  what you can get from her.  You'll thank God you did what was right in his eyes. The thought of what you almost threw away will sicken you to the core. If you do leave, all of this may take place anyway and it'll be too late, you'll realize what you threw away, and it will STILL sicken you to your core. Your pride will keep you in your seat but your heart will never be the same.  This works for wives to husbands too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seriously though...

You've got to check this out! It's something I've just come across online and I think I'll order one for my nursery, another for my living room, and maybe one for the kitchen too!
There are a couple of other companies that make and market these but this one;
The Painted House - patterned paint rollers!
seems to have good quality, or even the same patterns, for the best price. You do pay more fr shipping though since it comes from the UK.
Just go see if it's not worth it!
Ta!

Ps, the house next door goes up for sale tomorrow!!! Won't you be my neighbor??


Sunday, August 26, 2012

On a Roll!


In case we're not facebook friends, I had to post this.

Today I dedicated this video to all the two-timin', sneakin' around, cheaters out there.



Seems like there's one in every family.