Sons & Daughters

Have you ever read a book, listened to a speaker or got to know someone and were blown away by them?  Back in December, shortly before Christmas, I was on YouTube and watched a video.  It was a “Sid Roth:  It’s Supernatural” episode featuring a man named John Bevere.

I watched a 30 minute video in which Mr. Roth interviewed John Bevere about the Holy Spirit.  It was a great video and as I had recently finished the book, “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan, I was very interested.  I searched John’s name and came upon his  website: Messenger International. At this site, I found a few books that caught my interest and ordered 3 of them.

John’s book, “The Holy Spirit” was one of them.  What a great book.  I devoured it and filled a notebook with notes.  I also ordered “Girls With Swords” by his wife, Lisa Bevere.  As I began reading the book, I looked her up on YouTube.  I cannot tell you how many of her videos I have watched.  This dynamic woman and her husband are wonderful people.  What an incredible couple in ministry to our Lord. WOW!

But it gets better!!!  They have four adult sons who work in the ministry field as well.  They are Addison, Austin, Alec and Arden.  They have a new site ministry they have recently debuted that is as powerful as their parents.  Sons & Daughters ministers to those in their twenties to forties (IMO) but even though I am approaching 50 this year, I found it to be just as helpful to me as well.  I’m following them in Instagram as well.  (Though my son’s friends laugh; because almost all of those I follow are Pomeranians.)  LOL!

Yesterday’s video was by their son, Austin, about depression.  It really hit home as I have suffered PTSD and depression for over 25 years.  It is so helpful to know that others who are Christians, also suffer.  It’s also great to know that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He will help us in our time of need.  Austin shared encouraging scripture, his own journey and offered encouragement for those who also suffer.

I have to say that this family has so impacted my life over the last few months and I believe that God put them in my life for a reason.  He wants me to grow in faith and has shown me a family who’s faith is empowering to those who get to know them.

Shortly before Christmas, I found out that the plan God had for me was no where near possible at this time.  I was devastated.  I wanted to crawl into a ball and die.  I was angry and upset.  I railed at God for the deception.  Then, as days went by, I humbled myself to Him and begged forgiveness.  Since that time, I have been in the word.

I know He will not forsake me.  I know He loves me.  Scripture tells me that He will provide for all my needs.  I can no more turn my back on Him than I could voluntarily stop breathing.  I love Him.  I know that whatever He has planned for my life will be far better than anything I could ever imagine.

So, for today, I will continue to walk in faith.  And if you are in need of a spiritual lift, I highly recommend their ministries to you all.

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Sunday Musings

Once again, I’m suffering from double ear infections.  UGH!  Every time I get one, I think back to the pediatrician who told my mother that my ear pain was psychosomatic and all I wanted was attention at the age of 13 and how she took it as gospel.  This is the same doctor who told my mother that my sister, at the age of 8, was insecure because she still slept with a teddy bear and that her stomach pains (which was a blocked intestine) was all in her head.  After hearing this, my mother took her x-rays and medical records to the ER in another county and was diagnosed immediately with the blockage and was told they caught it in time before it killed her. So, her believing this quack was an insult.  Because of it, I never complained again and kept my pain to myself.  It wasn’t worth the fight.

Anyway, I’m forever suffering from them.  When my son was a baby, I discussed it with his pediatrician, who told me that I shouldn’t have them either.  UGH!  Not everyone is the same.  It’s why I think I’ve had Lupus a lot longer than  when my diagnosis came in 2007.  It would explain a lot of other ailments over the years.

I’ve binge watched several shows on Netflix.  Just watched “6 Souls”, “The Five” and “The Fall” over the four days.  They were a little intense.   I’m a police show junky.

I’m worried about my son.  College, leaving home, etc.  He’s 18; but very naïve.  I’ve been letting him drive home from school daily.  I wanted to get him lessons; but at $70 an hour, I just can’t afford it.  So, we’re on our way to doing it slowly.  I just hope his confidence grows; because at present, he’s still very nervous.

I’m needing a new place to live.  I know that when the child support runs out, I’ll not be able to afford this place anymore.  A friend shared a link to some cute cottages; but at present, they’re not even built. They are going to be built in an area that I would not move to due to the high crime rate also, so Nope!  Since it’s “Snow Bird” season, rentals are not easy to find, so I’ll have to start looking during the March/April time period.

I’ve begun working the AV at church and still have my nose in the bible by doing a bible study of Philippians and reading the book, “Girls With Swords” by Lisa Bevere.  I’m hoping that God will reveal where He wants me to go and how He is going to get me there.  I’m feeling a bit lost right now and I just have to keep taking baby steps in hopes that it is the right direction.

I am so broken these days.  I can only hope to recover.  Hurt and heartache are no stranger to me.  I just feel like I’m drowning in it all the time.

Between heartache and illness, I’m just so tired of being sick and tired.

Movies, Madness & Mayhem

So happy that it’s fast approaching the new year.  I can only hope that life will keep getting better and better.

Went to see “Greatest Showman” last night with my son and a few of his friends.  Loved it, even though it is not even close to being a biographical story on P.T. Barnum’s life, it was, however; a great movie.  The music, singing and dancing were excellent.  I’d go see it a 2nd time for sure.  From beautiful clothes and scenery to the great acting, it was a beautiful movie.  It definitely was inspirational in that it encourages us to chase our dreams, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels.

As for the Lord and me, we’ve been trying to communicate to no avail.  I’ve been praying, asking and seeking; but I’m getting confusing replies and I’m sure that it will become clearer to me as time goes on; but at present, I’m hitting a few walls.  I’ve had two dreams on point, though they confused me greatly, I’ve received several picture clues as well; but I think I’m blocking them.  I’ve received several “MY plan, MY will, MY way” scriptures and I’m just hoping that I’ll figure it all out in time.  I think my upset from last week has me shut down on some levels and I have to let that go and continue on.  My heart is hurting; but I will carry on with the faith walk.

As for they mayhem, well, the dog is driving me nuts.  His bladder control problems are wrecking havoc all over the house and I just want to scream.  I know it’s not his fault; but it is messy and driving me nuts just the same.  I mop the floors daily.  As soon as I finish, I’m positive he waits until just then and he does it again.  UGH!

I’ve just finished John Bevere’s book, “Holy Spirit”.  Awesome book.  Loved it.  Can’t wait to start my next one, “Girls with a Sword” by his wife, Lisa Bevere.  I’ve listened to both of them speak on YouTube and am very impressed with their teachings on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I’m trying to grow closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my faith walk.  I can only hope to get to the level these two people have reached.

I am currently sharing the job of Audio-Visual duties with another at my church.  Since we no longer have any children for “Kids Church”  I’m not teaching.  We have only 3 youth, who go to AWANA at another church on Wednesday night, so I don’t have duties for them, so I’ve been at a loss.  My dear friend has been doing the AV for years and I had the opportunity to do it for her a few weeks ago since she was unavailable.  Well, I so enjoyed it, I told her I’d love to join her in this duty.  She was overjoyed and I now feel I have renewed purpose in my church life.  So, we’re switching out weeks as needed.  When I have Indoor Drumline duty the end of January and twice in March, she’ll take it and other than that, we’ll have every other week.

I love to serve.  I like to feel useful and I know that this will be the best thing for me after the boy goes off to college.  YEAH!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us all!

Why This Heart?

As I was preparing dinner tonight, I stopped watching my DVR recordings and let the television play in the background.  A movie was playing and it reminds me why I hate romantic movies.  I get sucked in and the next thing I know, I’m crying over two stupid characters that I will never know; because they’re the product of someone’s imagination.

So, I cry out to the Lord and ask him “Why this heart?”  Why do I have so much empathy for others?  Why does this heart have to care so deeply?  Why am I so sympathetic?  Why do I have to be so soft?  Anyone who I come in contact with, no matter what they are feeling, I can feel it so deeply.  If you start to cry near me, I’ll start to cry, too.

Last night, the boy who was baptized at my church the same day as my son, was with us in the car.  He and my son go to school together as well.  He tells me that all the band loves me.  I asked him why and he said because I love them and always have great things to say to them.  I’m always positive and their best cheerleader.  WOW!

They had their winter concert on Thursday and I can’t even tell you how many hugs I got from them.  I could hardly believe how much love I got from them; but I so love them as well and maybe that’s why God gave me this heart.

Sometimes this heart of mine is a curse and sometimes it’s a gift.  When I need to keep it together, and it betrays me, it is a curse.  When it comes to those who need it, it’s my greatest gift.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been like this.  My heart has always been bigger than I like.  I love with a love that destroys me each time someone hurts it.  Whether it is friends, loved ones or strangers, when I’m hurt by another, I am destroyed.  I need to go into hiding and lick my wounds.  I guess that’s why my ex husband nearly killed me when I found out he was cheating on me nearly my whole marriage.  It’s why my best friend’s death was so hard on me.

It’s why this last year has been so hard on me.  I’ve been kicking my own ass, fighting with God, betraying myself and hurting myself with doubt over God’s plan for my life. I’ve cried, screamed, beat myself up, etc.  I’m my own worst enemy at times and yet, I know this is why the Lord is giving me this plan.  He is allowing me to unite with a man who is so worthy of my love and who will love me the same way in return.

So this heart, this heart so full of love, empathy, care and hurt, it’s the only heart I could possibly have.

Faith it ’til you make it

It’s been over a year now since God gave me a vision of my future.  It’s been a long, hard year for me.  BUT, I persist.  So many times I’ve struggled and wanted to quit and so many times, I’ve come back in faith that what He showed me is meant to be.

Faith in God is not easy.  It is a balancing act on a tight rope, strung between two trees over a canyon.  I’d be lying if I said otherwise.  I believe wholeheartedly in my Lord and Savior that this vision will come to pass.  And yet…….

I struggle!  Yup.  The enemy will whisper in my ear that I’m not good enough.  He starts that whole, “Did God REALLY give you that vision or were you daydreaming?”  Slowly, doubt creeps in and I have a meltdown of godly proportions.

However, the enemy fails, EVERY TIME!   That he does.  You see, when I’m in doubt, I pray!  I pray long and hard.  I pray out my heartache.  I pray for my brokenhearted desire to know that what God has told me is true.  I ask for proof.  I ask for a sign.  I ask when.  I ask how.  I ask where.  And HE answers me!!!  EVERY TIME!!!

I got to asking so many times if God was sure it was going to be this particular person in my life that everywhere I turned, his name was there.  I spent a month seeing this man’s name everywhere I read, saw, watched, and heard.  I couldn’t not see his name.  Multiple times a day, when I least expected it.  As a matter of fact, God stuck me between two boys on a school band competition trip that had this man’s name and I interacted with them all day long.  LOL!

I asked how.  God sent me a dream that showed me “how”.  I stumble in my walk and He lifts me up, dusts me off, and sets me right back on the path again.  I prayed a prayer for His will and I received instruction the next day, along with my intendeds name.  God is good!!!

At present, I’m working on getting closer to the Holy Spirit.  He dwells within me, so I need to be more attentive to His needs and desires.  I need to hear His voice clearer so that I do not grieve Him in anyway.  I want to be a better me so that He is glorified by me.

I know that without God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I’d have nothing.  I’d be nothing.  I can’t live without them.  I can’t.  Great is the one living inside of me than he who is living in the world.  1 John 4:4

My Savior thinks I’m to die for, so how can I be less than that for Him?

I recently took a “Gifts of the Spirit” test on Lifeway.  The test is designed to tell you what gifts you have received from the Spirit.  My gifts are Faith, Mercy and Giving.  Faith and Mercy scored equally on the test, followed by Giving just two points lower.  None of the other gifts scored as high.  When I read what each one is all about, I see this as how I’ve lived my life.  It makes sense and I only regret not knowing all of this sooner.

When I think of the time I put God on the shelf and lived for me, I see so much waste and loss.  And yet, God did bless me during this time as well and I couldn’t see it for the blinders I was wearing.

I recently spoke with my intended on Messenger.  By the end of our conversation, he told me I was special to him otherwise he’d never have looked for and found me.  He considers me a dear friend.  I am so touched by his words.  He also told me that he has improved in his overall well being and is getting closer to being wiser from his journey and in a better state of mind as he was before he was “broken”.

Ah, brokenness.  How we that suffer PTSD know that word well.  I must say, we never truly become unbroken, we just learn to live with it in a better way.  I’m so happy for him.  His journey has been long and hard, as I know mine has been; but what we are now is such a different individual that I believe we had to go through the storm in order to be stronger, wiser and more understanding.

I look forward to where this journey is taking me and how beautiful it will be. ❤

Wonders & Signs

God of Wonders: Experiencing God’s Voice Through Signs, Wonders, and Miracles by  Brian Guerin is a phenomenal book.  I just finished reading it and am wowed by what Mr. Guerin has revealed about our wonderful Father.

Reading this book will help you grow closer to God and enable you to open up to a whole new world of communication with Him through “signs & wonders”.  I highly recommend it.

We are all made, by God, for a purpose.  No one cares more for us than our Heavenly Father.  Following His purpose is the key to blessings.  God honors humility.  God keeps His promises, always!!!

Before the earth was even formed, our Father knew we’d be here and He knew the reason He wanted us to be here.  We were created for a purpose.  We are to follow the plan He has for our lives.  All we have to do is step out in faith.

Our highest purpose in life is to have a relationship with Abba, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  As we draw nearer to Him, we become more like Him, as He originally desired.

By making God, His voice, His presence, and plan your number one priority in all of life, you will begin to see and hear His voice.  Life is all about Jesus; loving Him, and making Him known.

God always looks at our hearts.  If you have a willing heart, and a desire to obey, He will gladly go out of His way to reiterate what He has told you by way of signs and wonders. If God promises you something, it is certain to be fulfilled.  There are conditions, though.  If you live a life of disobedience, you will not see the promise.  Obey and walk out His plan.

“If you pray for the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation to increase upon your life, a whole new dimension of His voice will open up to you and enlighten you to how often He has been speaking to you; but not heard.” (Brian Guerin)

He created the stars, hung them in the sky and calls them by name, and yet, He wants only for us to love Him, trust Him, know Him and worship Him.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  God wants us to seek Him through prayer and to experience new revelations of Him through His word and through the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.   Isn’t that incredible? 

The love that we, as human, share is incomparable to that of the Love of God.  We love; because He loved us first, and He gave us free will to love Him or not.  For those who do love Him, He wants only to see you happy and successful.

Remember, God uses everything for His good.  We will walk in the valley.  We will stumble, fall and fail.  However; God will take that failure, fall or stumble and turn it around, strengthening us for the blessings to come.  He does not cause us to fail, He just uses the experience to improve us.

I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen.  I can tell you that while I was down on the ground I have used the time to pray to our Father for assistance.  I’ve seen the rainbow after the storm.  If we were meant to do it all alone, He’d not reach His hand out to help us.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Head Down Amen

 

 

 

Suicide is not an option……

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I know I’ve mentioned it before; but in case you didn’t remember, I’ve escaped death 7 times.  Yup, that’s right.  Faced it, died, & survived.  God was not finished with me yet.  I still have work to do on this planet and despite living in immense amounts of pain, I still have a purpose.

It’s hard being me.  With a million and one reasons to die, I still live.  Take the Trigeminal Neuralgia.  It’s nickname is “The Suicide Disease” because it is listed as the most painful disease in the world.  This year marks my 25 year as a sufferer for 24/7 365 days of torment. That is more than 1/2 of my life.  It sucks.  A neurologist once commented on how surprised he was that I was still alive; because so many don’t last as long as I have with the severity that I suffer with it.

However, trying to end it all is not an option.  Even though I have been hurt by those who love me, I just can’t do the same to them.  Plus, I love my son too much to leave him with that kind of legacy.  Heck, shortly after being discharged for the TN, a friend of my sister’s killed himself.  This led to a discussion between my other sister and father about the subject.  My father said he’d never forgive the person who did it and my sister told him that the only one she would forgive is me.  She just couldn’t imagine living my life.  This knocked me for a loop.  They had no idea I had tried a year earlier and lived.  They had no idea that upon waking that I figured out that God had another purpose for me and ending my life was not one of them, this being his second time for saving me from death.

I remember when my friend tried and I called an ambulance for him.  I remember how much it hurt me that he tried to give up on his life.  He suffered terribly with PTSD and drank and overate and the list goes on.  His health deteriorated and he passed a year ago.  His attempt hit me hard.  He told me to “get over it”; because it had nothing to do with me.  I was not permitted to feel anything over this situation.  I was not permitted to do anything; but suffer silently.

That’s the thing.  When facing suicide, the person contemplating it doesn’t see anyone but themselves.   Some use it as a cry for help.  Some truly want to die.  Some want pity.  Some need attention.  Some succeed.  And some destroy those around them by leaving behind so many unanswered questions, guilt, heartbreak, nightmares, and more.

Suicide is more than taking a life.  It is destroying those who love and care for you.  There is nothing so bad in this life that dying is the only answer!!!!  You will have your heart torn out of your chest, stomped on and left in the dirt by someone you love.  Time will heal your heart and God will fill in the gaps.  You will get fired.  You will lose a loved one.  You will crash your car, be homeless, have no money, or a million other tragedies and you can survive!

Several years ago, I came across a link to an article bearing a familiar name.  It was about a young Marine who was over in the Gulf and lost both legs.  On the page was a photo of the young man as a boy with his two sisters.  I took that picture.  It was one Thanksgiving over in Japan.  The beautiful, smiling face stared back at me and the memories of my time overseas, with this family, flashed before me.  I held that boy in my arms and read to him.  I baby sat him.  I worked with his dad.

As I read the article, I found out about what his community was doing for him as a disabled veteran.  His mother recalled how this young man was such a happy go lucky person and that despite this “setback” he was still that same guy.  The once 6′ 3″ man was now closer to half that tall, uses a wheelchair most of the time, is an encouragement to those he knows and to those he doesn’t.  What to some is a horrible disability, to him is a life.  He even visits other veterans and offers encouragement to them in their own situations.  I’m so impressed with this young man and even contacted him.

Suicide was NOT an option.  His wife and child believe this as well.

You will face tragedy, that is a sure thing.  You can and will survive.  So many times, I’ve reached out to God in conversation about the life I have led and why I had to go through so much heartache.  Though He gives no answers, I am comforted by the fact that He loves me so much that he won’t even allow me to die.  I am that important.

I have been hated by my parents and sisters.  I have been molested by a sick uncle.  I was forcibly raped and brutalized.  I was beaten and abused.  I have been cheated on by a man who “vowed” to love me forever.  He nearly killed me.  I have been lied to, ignored, verbally abused, and I am still here.  I have stared evil in the face and I am still here.  I have sacrificed my needs and wants to care for others who would never do the same for me.  I have saved lives and I have held the hands of those who slipped away from this life.  I have lived in hell and yet, I am still HERE!

After my failed attempt, I accepted that God has an important job for me here.  So, I thrived and survived all this world has thrown at me.  I have risen up out of the ashes of my past in order to show the world what triumph is.  I kneel at the foot of my Father’s throne and arise, wearing the full armor of the Lord so that I may battle the forces of evil.  I am a warrior!  I am the phoenix!  I am the SURVIVOR!!!

Suicide is NOT an option!

Unconditional Love

I love my son’s friends.  In his 18 years of life, he’s only had one “temporary” friend whom I did not like; because he was nothing but trouble.  His mother, unfortunately, encouraged it and I put an end to it.

I digress.

Yesterday, my son & 2 friends went to DQ with me.  We all sat together and talked for an hour about all they were going through as Seniors this year.  College essays, applications, dreams, goals and how to achieve them.  The one friend has completed all her applications and is in “wait” mode.  My son filled out two applications to his school of choice and the third friend is in the process of applying to several places.  She is stressed to the max.  Her mom is riding her butt to get it done.

As we sat and spoke of all these things, I couldn’t help but think back on all the times the four of us have gone to movies, to eat, did projects together and enjoyed each others company.  So many conversations between the four of us; but not just that.  They’ve been to my home, they’ve asked me for advice, they tell me they love me and they genuinely care about me as well as Ian.

I’m on all of their phones and have told them I would come get them, no matter the time or place, if they call.  No questions asked at that time; but we would discuss it later.  Hasn’t happened (yet) but they have the option.  I’ve always thought kids should have a “safe” place or person to talk with and try to be that person.

I’ve had kids tell me they wished I was their mom.  I’ve given hugs to those who needed it.  Been the shoulder to cry on when their heart is broken.  I’ve cheered them on and never let them feel that they weren’t the best and greatest person I’ve ever met.

I’ve celebrated victories with these friends of my sons.  I’ve celebrated birthdays with them.  I’ve offered encouragement, advice, love and correction.  I never lie to them, even if it hurts.   I’ve teased them, laughed at them and with them and my reward is more than I have ever thought possible, their love and affection.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted little people I could love.  At 16, I was told it was impossible.  For the next 14 years, I believed it.  Two miscarriages due to blocked fallopian tubes and only one intact after the 2nd fetus ruptured one, I never thought I’d see the day.  Then, God blessed me with my miracle and I have loved and cherished that child ever since.

Now, all these years later, I have more kids than I can count and am happier for it.  I get hugs.  I get love.  I get to watch them grow and learn and thrive.

Yesterday also marked an interesting text from a young man who is a friend’s son.  The poor kid is sick.  He’s graduated, has a job; but no insurance and was desperate to purchase his medication to get better.  He’s not allowed to go to work for the next 5 days and asked me for help.  I purchased the scripts and told him not to worry about it, just focus on getting better.  He couldn’t thank me enough.  For me, it was a no brainer.  I didn’t need to ask him about his parents involvement, doesn’t matter.  I asked him nothing, except who to call to pay the bill.  For whatever reason, I was the go to person and since I already consider this young man a son, I only needed to meet the need, not grill him.  He is an honest, smart, kind and sweet young man of integrity.  That was all I needed to know.

Last night also brought a fall.  My son’s dog, Tippy, is 12 years old.  He’s not long for this world.  He has lost bladder control and is shaky.  He has fatty tumors, a bad eye and grumpy on a lot of days due to pain of old age.  Last night, I slipped in a puddle.  I landed hard on my left hip and elbow.  My elbow has a knot on it and is bruised and scraped.  Yes, I was covered in pee.  (GROSS) and immediately took a shower.  Was not happy since I’d just done so and was wearing fresh, clean clothes for the night; but he can’t help it.  I’m debating if I need to take him to the vet for our last good–byes; but I’m not there yet and he is not suffering.  Just keep praying for him.

You see, I’ve got this problem.  I love unconditionally these kids and this dog.  I don’t see their flaws, only their potential.  I think if we had more people who encouraged and loved, despite who they are, what they are or how they look, we’d have less ugly in this world.  I pray for them and sometimes with them.  I just hope when I’m old and they are no longer in my life, that they’ll remember me for this.

Autumn Dreams

Ah, Autumn, how I miss the smell, the crisp air, the crunch of leaves under foot, a light sweater and the beautiful colors.  I sometimes wish I was still up north, enjoying the season in it’s full glory.

I used to love to hike in the mountains and enjoy the Autumn in all it’s splendor.  I love it so much and is truly the only thing I miss about this time of year.  I remember when I was pregnant with my son and we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl yet.  We picked two names.  If a girl, she was to be Autumn Hope.  But, alas, he was not a girl and his name is perfect for him.

It’s only 3 days until we celebrate his 18th birthday.  I can hardly believe that he will be 18.  The years seem to have flown by so quickly. I still reminisce about the joyous times we’ve spent together.  He’s been my miracle since birth and I have enjoyed every moment of it I’ve spent with him.  I am incredibly blessed by God to have been chosen to be his mother.  He turns 18 and 6 days later, I turn 49.  Best birthday present ever! ❤

Last night at church, our Pastor discussed Matthew 25:14-29 — The Parable of the Talents.  In this parable, three men are given talents from their overseer to take care of while he was away.  The 1st man was given 5 talents and multiplied it to 10.  The next was given two and multiplied it to 4.  The final man received only one and he buried and hoarded it, not doing a single thing.  Upon the overseers return, he congratulated the two investors and chastised the sloth, casting him out.

As we reviewed the scripture, we began to understand it.  God gives us each talents.  We are all unique, we are all in receipt of abilities that are ours alone and we are to use them to glorify God.  Because, sometimes, we are the only person who is seen by others as God in the flesh.

I took a “Spiritual Gifts” test to figure out what God had given me to use in this world for His glory.  I received giving, caring and mercy as my top 3 gifts.  (These were far above the other gifts you can receive) I have to say, they were pretty obvious to me, even before the test; but to have it confirmed, was a pleasant surprise.

As I reflect on my life, I see these gifts in so many parts of it.  I’ve always felt it is better to give than to receive.  I take great delight in giving things to people and watching their joy and happiness unfold.  I’m also a natural care giver.  I feel my best when I am able to take care of people and ensure their well being and happiness.  As for mercy, I have always forgiven others much more than they deserve.  It’s why my ex-husband told close friends of our years that he could sh*t all over me and I’d always take him back.  <sigh>

I do it all for Him, and still, I cannot do enough for Him.  It is just not possible.

It’s been a strange few weeks.  For some reason, the Lord is surrounding me with the name of my “love”.  I chaperoned my son’s competition a few weeks back and there were 3 boys with his name, sitting and speaking with me.  I turn on the t.v. and I hear both his given name and nickname, which is not a common one.  I hear it on the radio.  I’ve encountered several while out and about in stores, the mechanics, at the VA,  and on.  It is so weird; but also mysterious as to why I am being bombarded with his name.

November will be 2 years since we’ve reconnected.  In 2015, his name popped into my mind, unexpectedly, while driving home after dropping my son at school.  This has happened to me with various friends I’ve know and usually after I reminisce about them, I forget them again and move on.  Not this time.  Three days later, I am still thinking of him and I decide to look him up on Facebook.  He’s the first choice and I check him out and decide to friend him.  He immediately connects and I move on.  Nope, still there.  UGH!  So, I send him a message.  He had pneumonia, so I tell him I’m praying for him to get better quickly and I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all.  Low & behold, he not only remembers me; but looked for me on more than one occasion; but to no avail.  LOL!  Spelling my name is a bitch. LOL!  No one gets it right.  So we chat several times over the next year.  He dates a woman, I pray for his relationship.  It ends, I pray for his heartbreak.  Until last November.

November 2016 is when I get the vision of him in church during prayer.  It shocks, it disturbs and scares me.  I come home from church, deeply upset and after an hour of contemplation, I message him angrily and tell him I don’t appreciate his invading my God time, etc.  He finds it funny, I don’t.  I pray about it and God let’s me know His plan and his involvement in it.  I’m in shock.

As this year has gone by, this man and I have had several conversations in which he teases me, leads me on and then disappears from communication for months.  Drives me insane.  Now, I’ve read several articles that state if a man shows no interest, move on.  I have tried.  I pray daily.  I ask God for clarification.  Each time, God answers: “Stay faithful to Me, the plan and the man.”  So I do.

So, here I am.  Still faithful to my Lord, His plan and the man. 😀  Only God knows how this will come to fruition; because He is the author of this love story.  ❤

My son has only 2 more weeks until the end of Marching Band season.  Not sure if the new Band Director is going to be doing Indoor Drumline this year or not.  We shall see.  Because of Hurricane Irma, the band is not motivated at all.  They seem to have lost their mojo for performing.  My son and his friends, who usually love it, seem down and ready for it to end.

I’m almost hoping we don’t have Indoor; but we shall see.  I found out he is graduating on May 19th at 10am and I’m happy for him.  Looking forward to him to do so and also missing the fact that he’s going to go to college at the same time.  So proud of him, though.

And time marches on………………..

Blessings and such

Last week, after dropping my son off at school, I turned onto my street and came to a stop.  Why?  Bunnies.  There were 3 of them blocking the road.  Wouldn’t move, so I had to get out of the car and shoo them out of harms way.  Yesterday, it was ducks!  Couple of weeks ago, it was ibis.  I am blessed to live in an area where I can see so many animals living free.

Yesterday, I was doubly blessed.  I’d gone to the VA for a dental appointment and as usual, afterwards I was in misery due to my TMJ and Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I was paying more attention to my pain and getting home to take more Tylenol than I was anything else when I spotted a police car and instantly knew I was in trouble.  Yup, that’s right, I was speeding.  UGH!!!  I pulled over and the officer asked if I knew why he pulled me over and of course, I admitted my sin.  No sense playing the innocence game, we both knew what I’d done.

Barely holding myself together, I handed him all my paperwork and waited for the ticket we both knew I deserved.  He walked away and I bowed my head.  “Dear Lord, help me.  I know I am in the wrong; but please have mercy on me.  Amen.”  Moments after I raised my head, I saw the officer was returning to me.  “This is your lucky day.  The printer just broke in my car and I can’t give you a ticket.  Slow down and have a nice day.”

I thanked him.  Tears sprang into my eyes.  I looked up and praised God for His mercies.  Prayer is not always instant gratification.  Sometimes it’s a hard lesson, won over time.  Sometimes they’re not answered in the way we think they should be.

Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Scripture tells us that we don’t know how or why God does what He does, just that He knows better than we do.  Sometimes that “no” is for our own good.  Though I regret nothing in my life, I sometimes wish I’d heeded His warning by listening to my “gut feeling” instead of ignoring that voice.

Over the last year, I’ve grown in ways I never imagined and it is all because I’ve tuned into the voice of my Lord.  He speaks to me in so many ways as to open up my heart, my mind, and my dependence on Him for all things.  Because I have done this, I see the blessings He bestows on me in the smallest and largest of ways.  I see God in the details.  I see His hands all over my life.

He has firmly closed doors I was still willing to walk through.  He has opened doors and gently push me through them in order to give me more.  He has spoken volumes to me when I’ve asked Him to lead me and show me.

Last night, my son and I attended the Memorial Service of a dear friend.  She passed after 73 years of love and kindness in service to the Lord.  When we first met her, she and her husband were the greeters at our church.  Each Sunday, they would open the doors, welcome us in and hand us a bulletin.

I shared a wonderful story about her with those in attendance about our 1st Cub Scout Sunday with our new church.  I had called up our Pastor and spoke with him about Cub Scout Sunday and asked him what my son could do for our church on that day.  He assigned my son to Judy and an instant bond grew between the two.  In the last few years, she’s been absent from our service; but not from our hearts.  An injury, followed by several mini strokes, kept her from rejoicing in the Lord with us; but she was never far from our hearts.  We celebrated her life last night and shared our stories about her and wished her Godspeed.  This lovely lady is home with our Lord, greeting everyone  welcome at the Pearly gates.

I can only hope that I will be as fondly remembered as she is by us all.  I want to be a blessing to those I know and meet, just like Judy.  ❤