He Saves

My son just got back from Christian Youth Camp. He spent the past week in Georgia with our church’s youth group, opening his heart and soul to Jesus Christ. After two days, HE WAS SAVED!!! He made the altar call and was saved. The next evening, he was asked if he’d give his life for Jesus and even thought he didn’t want to go to the altar, he said, “I just couldn’t control my body, Mom. It made me go up to the altar and pledge my life to Him.” I was so touched. I told him we can’t do anything when the Spirit calls us, moves us and engulfs us in His power. My son told me that he was so touched by the Spirit that he could not help but cry with the joy and emotion that he was filled with. WOW!!!!

The Pastor at youth camp really spoke to our youth and was on their level and as one young man stated, “Really spoke to me and knew what I had done, what I was thinking of doing and what I was sure I would do in the future.” Tonight, our youth spoke with our congregation for an hour. Each teen relayed their journey this past week and what they experienced with such emotion. We were all touched by their joy and their pledges. What a moving experience.

My son told me that the drama the camp presented was about Moses (his favorite biblical person) and he figured out the conclusion before the others in his group. Each segment, performed each night, resulted in a treasure hunt the next morning. Oh and he said his favorite part of camp was when he got to serve breakfast two mornings. He’s so cute.

I am so happy that he had such a wonderful experience. He is a great kid. He works hard as the AV assistant at church and loves to help and is very giving. I’m a very proud Momma.

HE IS MIGHTY TO SAVE — JESUS IS MIGHTY TO SAVE!!!!!

The Time Keeper

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I just finished reading “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom and I must say I have a new appreciation for time. It is a story about the first man to count time, before it was ever recorded. In the days of the Tower of Babel. This man, Dor, becomes Father Time and spends an eternity listening to people beg for more time, for yesterdays, for tomorrows.

We live in an era where we are obsessed with time. How many times a day do you look at your watch or clock to determine how much time you have left? I do it all the time. Gez, I’m using the word “time” so much in this post. LOL! Am I late, am I early, do I have enough time? I hear myself asking these things constantly.

I hate to be late. I hate to have people wait on me. I’d rather be early than late. If I’m late, I feel like my whole day is thrown off kilter. I’m a stickler for being timely.

This book made me wonder why we record time. Why we have to count the moments, the days, the years. Why not just exist without time? I’m not sure. It is what God has decided. “There is a reason God limits our days. To make them precious.” (Mitch Albom).

How do you treat your time? Do you treasure the moments or rush through life on a speed boat, not given quality; but sucking up quantity? There were two other characters in the book as well. A high school senior who was experiencing her first true heart break by a boy and a man dying of cancer, who was preparing his “eternity” and leaving his wife out of his last days. Each of them were snatched away from their final moment of existence by Father Time to realize how precious the time they had and what they would have is.

The young lady I connected with; because I so worry about my own son and how he will treat other people, how they will treat him and if he will be strong enough to defeat his first broken heart. I worry too much. I’m a mother and I guess it is my job to worry; but not to this extent. He is so much stronger than I am.

In another way, I connected with the old man; because I think of my parents, who are both in the mid 60’s and only God knows how much time I will have left with them. Will it be enough?

Time. We are consumed by it. We write songs about it. We beg for more. We want it to speed up and slow down. We write books about it. We record it. We check its passage. We need more or want less. In our tragedy, we want it to stop and go away. In our happiness, we never want it to end. Time. Time. Time.

It marches onward, never backward. We have too much on our hands or never enough. What is our obsession with time?

I love time. I love clocks. I love to think about the passage of time. I love to collect mementos of time. I am a historian, who chronicles its passage. I write about the memories of my time. I collect the photos, the memorabilia, the emotion of time. I see it as precious and painful and worthy and like so many others, find myself begging for more and for it to pass quicker. It flies when we are fully enthralled in a situation and crawls when we have nothing to do. When we are wishing for it to hurry, it drags on by. When we want more of it due to our absorption in the moment, we are disappointed.

Children are the worse. They cannot measure time. To them, five minutes is an eternity because they are out of time. To them, their ignorance is bliss. They only know time when Mom or Dad tell them they have no more. Even my dog senses time. Mostly when he knows it is approaching the time of day when he is to go for his walks. He knows when he wants me to walk up and walk him or take him out in the evenings. Ah, to live a life without a schedule would be bliss; but in this go, go, go world we live in, Time is our master.

Verdicts no longer matter

As a person who was NOT in the jury room nor in the courtroom during the trial, I respect the decision made. I do not have to like it. I do not have to believe in it. I do, however, have to accept it. (and this refers to multiple cases, not just this recent one)

With that said, there have been times when a verdict was not what I wanted and then there were times that it has been. My opinion has no relevance in the grand scheme of things. Neither does yours.

MY ACTIONS are what I am responsible for, so with that said, I will act appropriately and accept the things I cannot change. I will not “riot” or “protest” because I don’t like what they decided. It won’t change what has become.

I’m deeply disappointed in our Federal Government over these recent events in history. With all the available options given to the jury, they acquitted; but our Government decided they’re going to microscope the trial, evidence and find a way to violate the defendant’s civil rights as they are saying he did to the victim. WOW!

Imagine you are in this man’s position. Imagine you have just escaped a fate that would imprison you or kill you. Imagine it was in self defense of your very life. Now, tell me, what would you do if the government decided that despite all the evidence, testimony and court proceedings they were going to hang you anyway. How would you feel?

Our legal system, which has worked for 237 years is now broken. We may as well live in the old west where lynching was legal and the world was lawless. Our federal government has no right to over step the bounds of this state. If we were to judge people by public opinion, then we’d probably have to hang him; but we don’t do that here. We give them a trial. We let his peers decide. We get a verdict and life moves on. In this case, we do not. PUBLIC OPIONON is driving this case and it is a shame.

I remember back in the 90’s when Al Sharpton was in NYC protecting the death of a young black child who was killed by a white teen. He screamed and yelled and led protests against the violator. One week later, a little black girl was killed by a black boy and not a single world was heard. She was just a blip on the radar. He spoke of how it was not racism but gun violence he was protesting the week before; but in my opinion that was a lie.

I’m not anti any color/race/creed. I love my fellow man. I love this country, which has so many opportunities and freedoms. What I don’t like is that it is turning into a factious state. Our freedoms are slowly dwindling away to nothing. The NSA is listening. The IRS is becoming a super power. We have no jobs. We have no food. Our industry is gone and imported from countries that go with cheap rather than safe. We are slowly circling the toilet and even Rome fell.

WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! Before it is too late.

Family

I never really discuss my family with people; because our history is skewed. UGH! Most people don’t get it; but hey, whatever. Life is strange. Anyway, I am going to relate it as best I can.

My dad was born a bastard in 1946 and raised by his grandparents and an aunt. His mother, married a man and moved off to California with him and later had several other children. From what I understand, he only saw her one other time before her death in the mid 80’s. Nana died early as well and for the most part, his Aunt Dotty and Grandfather were his parents. Aunt Dotty became my “Grandma” growing up; because she rated the honor as his real mother. I loved her dearly, right up to the end. She married when I was almost 2 years old to her long time boyfriend at the age of 50 and lived with him until his death in 1994. She then moved in with my parents until her death in 1999. She was one of my favorite people in the world. I still love her dearly and miss her so much. She was one terrific lady.

My mom, on the other hand, was the baby of the family. Lucky #13 in the litter. Even though she was the youngest, she was so far from the favorite. Her oldest brother had marriage troubles and an alcoholic wife, so for the most part, Mom’s mom raised his children right alongside my mother. She was no longer the baby. Because her mother adored her youngest son (mom’s older brother by 4 years) that when my mother was abused by said brother, her mother turned her back on her. Mom was kicked out of her home at the age of 16 years. She was then shuffled between her sisters for the next two years.

During this time, Mom was dating Dad. 🙂 Dad enlisted in the USMC in 1964. After boot camp, he was stationed in Jacksonville, NC at Camp Lejeune. Mom moved down shortly after he went there and lived in a little town called Holly Ridge, NC. They rented a place from a couple who I grew up calling Grandma & Grandpa. Grandma became her foster mother, helping her get a job, being with her when my dad headed off to Nam after Motor T school and comforting her when she lost her son. Grandma became such an important part of our lives. As a matter of fact, I still call Grandma’s children my Aunts & Uncles and consider their children cousins. Blood or not, they’re family and I love them. This definitely makes our family even larger!!!! We love it!

Onto the reason behind this post. Anytime I have a friend who is even slightly older than I am (10 or more years) my mother automatically tells all and sundry that I have a “Mother Figure” in her. Personally, I am not looking to replace my mother, no matter the distance between myself and my own mother — I HAVE ONLY ONE MOTHER!!!! Drives me NUTS!!! It’s almost like she can’t understand that I like people regardless of their age and that I am not looking to replace her like she was her mother. UGH!!! Makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes.

Of course, my Ex and I had 13 years between us and she asked me if I was looking for a father figure in him and I told her off. She couldn’t seem to understand that AGE IS A NUMBER!!! I don’t know. Anyway, what is 10 years in the grand scheme of things? I sometimes think that her skewed way of thinking has left her as a perpetual 16 year old. It is like she stopped growing mentally once her mother kicked her out. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom. She just has a strange way of thinking and sometimes, she drives me nuts!

Like I tell her all the time: Life doesn’t come with an instruction book. We do the best we can with what we have and that is all that we can do in this life. We make mistakes, we stumble, we fall and we get back up. That is life.

My family may be a little off; but I’m strange that way, I LIKE THEM! 🙂

Reflections on the past….

So much has happened in my nearly 45 years of life. Tomorrow, my baby sister will turn 40 years old and when I think back on our lives together I have to smile. I remember when we used to go camping and how tiny my sister was. I remember fights with my middle sister. I remember nights we sat at our kitchen table, eating chocolate ice cream and giggling like crazy.

We used to spend two weeks each summer on vacation. My dad would take the two weeks off and we’d go somewhere camping. To the Jersey shore, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina or anywhere in between. We spent a lot of summers up in Lake George, the Finger Lakes and went to Niagara Falls as well. And who can forget the times it rained so hard we sat in our tents, praying they wouldn’t leak and sometimes, forgetting that if you touch the canvas, it will leak and causing the water to drip in. UGH!!!

Six Flags, the Boardwalk, swimming, boating, beach days and more. I think I had a great childhood. YES, there were the standard horrors; but when you focus on the fun times, the good times, the horror doesn’t seem so bad upon reflection.

So, as my baby sister turns 40, I think about all the times she “hung out” with Dad while my middle sister and I were off together. SHE was daddy’s little buddy and anything dad did, so did she. Anything dad ate, so did she. Boy, we didn’t know what we were missing. Funny thing, even though she doesn’t have any children, my niece is her spitting image as a girl and she has my dad wrapped around her finger as well. 🙂

Now, as the time approaches for me to turn 45 this fall, I have let go of the past misdeed and embraced the happy memories. I’m no longer bitter about the past. I’m no longer hiding behind an anger of “done me wrong” but embracing the joy.

Life isn’t easy. My son, who will be 14 this fall, is heading off to Youth Camp tomorrow and it will be our first time away from me, not with family, and I worry. Not about the people who he’ll be with; but the travel to and from. You just never know. BUT I have faith in God and prayer, so I’m feeling okay about him leaving. I love him and want him to experience this wonderful opportunity that God has in store for him.

Time

What is time? A unit of measure in which we mark the passing of. Time is an invention for humans. No other animal, vegetable or mineral on this planet measures time except humans. I’ve never seen my dog check any clock for the time. Of course, my dog does know the time to get up to go out, the time he needs to take his afternoon walk and when it is the appropriate time for us to go to bed. However, he doesn’t consult his wrist watch to know the time, it is an internal thing for him or a ritual.

I remember when my son was small and 5 minutes of time was a lifetime for him. He would pitch a fit over being put in time out for a mere 5 minutes of time. To him, it was an eternity. Today, he still grumbles about time; but not as much as he used to. Days or weeks are more his complaining phase rather than minutes or hours.

For me, I mark time. When I am in miserable pain, I feel every second that is of my life. I feel the ticking of the clock beat a staccato in my brain as the pain radiates through my soul. Will my pain ease in 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days? I’m not sure; but time marches on as I lay in agony, praying for the time to hurry up until I can be eased of my own misery.

For some, they pray for more time. For others, they want their time to speed up for important events. Time seems to fly when we are engrossed in fun, a project or busy living life. Time seems to creep by during times of boredom, crisis or pain. However, time marches on at the same rate no matter the task at hand. Sixty seconds to every minute, sixty minutes to every hour and 24 hours to every day. Time does not slow or rush forward, it keeps on steadily, day in and day out.

Why are we so obsessed with the passage of time, then? I guess because we never seem to have enough of that precious time to do everything we want to do. When our time is up, it is up. We can’t go back to finish the things we didn’t have time to finish.

I count each day as a gift. I get through them each the only way I know how and I try not to worry about the things I can’t seem to get finished. Life is an ongoing project. I want to make the most of each day. I tell my son I love him daily. I make sure to always kiss him good morning and good night. I value the time I am given, pain filled as it is, and remember what is important for my life.

What does time mean for you?