I Can Only Imagine….

Tonight was our “Flick on the Fifth” night at church.  If a month has 5 Saturdays, we show a film on that fifth evening.  Tonight’s film was “I Can Only Imagine“, the story behind the song written by Bart Milliard from MercyMe.

Such a powerful story and song.  First of all, that song was not only #1 on the Gospel charts, but was also #1 on the Country charts at the same time.  Anyone who has ever lost someone close to them tries to imagine what happens next.  I know I have, especially when I lost my best friend.

The song, inspired by his life, is about the way Bart’s father went from being the “abusive monster” he grew up with to the saved, Jesus loving man that he finally forgave and found a love for his dad that he never imagined he’d ever have.  So beautiful.  I was a teary mess by the end, of course.  Ha, ha.

It was definitely one that got us talking afterward.  Have you ever suffered at the hands of another something so terrible, that you couldn’t forgive them.  Even held a grudge?  Then, they changed.  They repented and made amends and wanted you to forgive them.  And here you are, still in that place of hurt, not ready to give in, even though you know, deep in your heart that you love them and want to; but they have shattered your trust so badly, so many times that you don’t know if you can trust them, ever!

Yeah, I know all about that.  Except, that I always forgive and end up right back in the same position, kicked in the teeth by the one I forgave countless times.  I was reading a Max Lucado book last year and Max reminded me of the time Jesus faced the same problem.  In Luke 4:16-30, we find Jesus being rejected by those who are from His own hometown, “What good can come from Nazareth?”  Max explains how even Jesus found rejection from His own family and friends and left, unable to preach to those He loved.  He further explained that when others hurt us or betray us, it is perfectly okay to walk away or leave the relationship in order to not subject yourself to their hurtful ways.

Now, for me, this was great advice.  My father and sisters constantly talk trash behind my back.  It hurts.  They make judgments about me, even though they are wrong, and I have to stand by and let them.  I have to take it.  And if I don’t?  Too bad, they’re entitled to their opinions; but I’m not.  After years of living with their abuse, I finally disassociated myself from their influence and left them.  They can no longer hurt me.

I have forgiven them.  I just don’t allow them to continue their bad behavior toward me.  I don’t give them the opportunity to hurt me.  I have turned my back on their abuse and no longer take it.  I am FREE.

As for the movie, Bart was able to restore his relationship with his father after years of abuse.  He was able to watch the monster turn into a God fearing, bible thumping, lover of Jesus.  It was a beautiful transformation and it was something that allowed the watcher a peek into forgiveness in action and working through pain and heartbreak.  Truly, the beauty of God transformed this father and son into the best of friends and for me, it was such a wonderful glimpse into how He works.

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Thank You for Your Service

So, I’m watching the movie, “Thank You for Your Service”, a movie about what happens when a soldier comes home from war.  It deals with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the VA health care system.

I remember when I was first discharge from the Marines when I was a young woman and first went to the VA hospital closest to my home in NY.  I filled out paperwork, enrolled in the system and filed a claim.

I was treated like shit.  From the first doctor on.  I was in massive pain, I waited hours to be seen by a doctor.  I had tears streaming down my cheeks as I waited to be called in.  I couldn’t take the pain.  I was miserable.  I was hurting.  I saw the doctor, who gave me nothing; but a referral to Psych.  I went to the VA Psych hospital and was taken to a room where I was patted down by two male security guards, who only used the metal detective wand on the males and was treated to a groping.  I then saw the doctor, who made the situation worse and I left there feeling 10x’s worse and assaulted.

The movie tells the characters that it will take up to 12 weeks for the claim to go through; but realistically, it’s more like 6-9 months.  For me, it took 2 years.  I filed in October 1994 and received benefits in October 1996.

The problem is and always will be that the system is broken and now that we have even more service men and women filing everyday, it’s like putting twenty pound bag of sugar on a scale that only measure up to a pound.  It’s going to break and the sad thing is these men and women NEED the help, desperately.

I hurt so much for them.  I feel their pain.  I dream their nightmares.  I struggle, still, with a system that doesn’t give a fuck about it’s patience or those that serve this country after they leave service.

I was last seen by a doctor at the VA clinic September 2016, right after losing my best friend.  You are supposed to be seen at least once a year or you are unenrolled.  My prescriptions are renewed with just an email and when I tried, several times, to get an appointment, I’ve been given the run around.  I’d love to ask them, “Who do I have to kill in order to get an appointment?”, but I don’t want to get arrested or something.  SMH

As the movie ends, they tell you that the real men, whom the story is about, did finally get help.  It’s good to hear.  It’s nice to know that they are still out there and not part of the suicide statistic that is so high in the veteran community.

Everyone has a story to tell about their VA experience.  My father goes to the one in Miami.  He loves it.  His claim was quick and he’s treated like a king there.  Of course, it is veteran run.  People who know what the military is like and how to treat their fellow veterans.  I’m happy for him.  Wouldn’t it be great if the whole system was so much better?

I remember a few years ago hearing about how one VA facility had a makeover of it’s waiting areas and how it was so needed and they asked on veteran what he thought and they were not prepared for his answer, that’s for sure.  It would have been a better use of money had they revamped care and not where we have to wait for care.  That money would have helped more people on the medical side of things, don’t you think?  Yeah, they didn’t like it at all.  I had the same feeling they did.

Shortly after my friend died, I was having a conversation with a long time friend who had the opportunity to meet with President Trump on his campaign trail, before he was president.  Trump had asked those in attendance about VA health care and my friend told him what I had spent the last year dealing with at the local clinic and how my best friend had died because of their lax medical practices and his aid took notes on it.  I hope that it will help other veterans in the future.

 

 

Making Lemonade

My entire world is turning upside down; but I’m making lemonade!  So, let’s start with all the things that have happened in the last few weeks.

We’re winding down the school year and the school play went fairly well, considering the fact that there was a scene within it that was as close to a pole/lap dance as you can get, performed by an under aged girl, that made the teen boys blush and the men avert their eyes.  So shameful.  The only part of it that was any good was the music, which part of the Jazz band played and did very well.  The singing was horrible, no acting at all and had no plot line than anyone could follow.  UGH!

Then, the choir had their last performance of the year, along with them singing and performing the closing scene of “Pitch Perfect” choreographed and all, to include the breast grab.  Shocker!

This past Tuesday my son performed his last concert and NOTHING in the least bit shocking happened.  He played with the Jazz band, Concert band and Woodwinds.  He then performed a mallet piece with his two best friends and a tenor drum solo, which received much praise and ovation.  So proud of him.

Two weeks ago, my landlord put in a new air conditioner that has been needed for the last two years.  Friday, I received a rent increase notice to help pay for the unit and the taxes on the house.  Bummer!  Since I lose Ian’s “child support” this month, we can’t afford to live here anymore, especially with another rent increase, so I did a search for rentals in my area and my price range. At first I found nothing, however; I did another search and found a great place.  So, I made an appointment to view it on Saturday morning.

Friday evening, we had Band Awards.  My son received the Outstanding Musician Award as well as the Louie Armstrong Jazz award, which is given on the National level, for high school students.  What an honor.  My mom attended the presentation and afterwards, we went out to dinner.  It was a nice night.

We had church last night and had gone over to see the house for rent earlier in the day.  We loved it.  Smaller than what we have; but we need to get rid of some junk anyway.  I contacted the owner and we’ve negotiated the terms of the lease and we’re giving notice here and will move next month.  We have graduation in 21 days, so we will be busy packing up and getting rid of stuff.

Thankfully, I have a group of fine, young band members who are helping us to move the heavy stuff.  These kids are great and were eager to help anyway they can.  So blessed.  I have God to thank for all these things, too!  After receiving the letter on Friday,  I began to pray about it all.  He has let me know in so many ways that He is orchestrating this for us.

Today, I FINALLY got to see Avengers:  Infinity War.  All I can say is WOW!  Great movie.  Not happy with the ending; but we’ll see where it goes from here.

Get this!  We left the movie and crossed the road in front of the theater.  I’m a disabled veteran and apparently not moving fast enough for some guy in a car.  He rolled down his windows and proceeded to curse me out for moving so slow and because I am apparently too fat.  He told me I should go back into the pizza place and eat some more, tubby.  I laughed at that statement and he proceeded to get out of his car.  I looked at him and asked if he were going to beat up a girl.  He put his “larger than I am in the fat department” butt back in his car and curse as he sped off through the parking lot.  I turned and saw 4 men had approached behind and beside me, in my defense.  God Bless Them!

All I can say is people are strange.  All I did was cross to the parking lot.  I had the right of way.  SMH.

Happy Easter

He is Risen.  We are free!

Our church held an outstanding service last night out of Luke 23:39-43.  As Jesus hung on the cross, he was with 2 other men.  Both tried and convicted.  Both sentenced to death with Him.  One a heckler of Jesus, the other a believer.  One was given a guarantee of paradise.  Yes, he was guilty.  Yes, he was sin filled.  However; just by belief, he was set free.

God meets us where we are.  He doesn’t care that we’re sinful, he cares only that we BELIEVE!  In Him.  He is my Lord and Savior.  He is my hope and faith.  He is my everything.

My son & I went to see “Paul The Apostle” on Friday afternoon.  Great movie on the life of a great man and follower of Christ.  He didn’t want Dr. Luke to write an accounting of his life; because he was afraid people would begin to worship him and not Christ.  He recalled those he had killed for following Jesus.  He had a recurring vision on meeting those people in eternity.   He begged the Lord numerous times to take away his suffering, only to be told, “No.”  He was faithful and spread the word of Jesus to all the places he went, right up until the very day of his death.

I am so glad they are making more quality movies about biblical figures.  I especially like the ones that stay true to form of those men and women in history.

God’s grace is fresh daily.  He gives us the strength to endure today.  He wants us to lean into Him for His help in all things.  When we don’t lean into His strength, we fail at tasks; but when we give it over to Him, we succeed.  He wants us to succeed in all things.

I’ve learned that when I take His plan and run with them in my own steam, I fall short.  His plan, His will, His time, His way.

I’ve also learned that I am enough.  I’m not perfect.  I know that; but I also know that it’s okay.  He loves me anyway.  How beautiful is that?  He loves me, accepts me, and thinks I’m to die for; because He did!  The Lord created all the things on earth and He created me, too!  And YOU!  He thought the world needed us, and here we are. 😀

Not everyday is easy.  As a disabled person, I suffer pain daily.  But I know that with His strength, I can conquer the day.  I may just go from the bed to the living room; but it’s something. Pain sucks; but it also keeps me close to Him.

God calls us to be a light in the darkness.

School Walk Out

We do not need stronger gun control laws, what we do need is better Mental Health Care.  Laws don’t stop criminals.  Laws don’t stop gun violence.  An unarmed citizenship allows dictatorships to become a reality, just ask the Jews from WWII.

I remember while I was still in school, Bernie Goetz shot and seriously wounded four men who tried to rob him on the subway.  This was not the first time he’d faced attackers trying to rob him and when the first time ended in the attackers getting a slap on the wrist, he got angry.  This seems to me to be the start of people taking social injustices into their own hands.

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, advocating for any type of vigilante justice or justifying anyone shooting anyone.  However, I should be able to carry a gun in order to protect myself and property from anyone.  I can also do a lot of damage with a knife, a bat, a crowbar, a broken glass bottle, etc.  If I am wanting to do damage, I will find a way to do it, regardless of the weapon and will get any kind of weapon, illegally or not to do it.  That’s just the way people work.

If I want to hurt you badly enough, I will find the means with which to do it.  It is that simple.

On the other side of the coin, we have a lot more mental illness springing up all over the place.  PTSD is running rapidly through our military, domestic violence sufferers, accident victims and violence survivors.  We have bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, ADHD, depression, dementia and OCD that cause our brains to act in a non-normal way.  Sometimes they are easily identified and sometimes they are not.  Sometimes they are controlled with medication, sometimes they are not.  The stigma we have placed on mental disorders has people who suffer them hiding in shame.

I remember when I was 13 years old and suffered from chronic ear infections (and still do to this day) my pediatrician told my parents it was psychosomatic (all in my mind) and my father freaked out fearing they’d stick this in my medical records, stigmatizing me for life as someone with a mental disorder.  Crazy, right?  True!

We, as a society, need to tear off the Band-Aid that hides people in a closet of shame for being sick.  We do not choose to be this way, it just happens.  Whether it is because of trauma, chemical imbalance, birth/DNA or whatever the reason, mental illnesses are no different than having cancer, influenza, Lupus, arthritis, liver disease, etc.  It is out of the person’s hands and is no more controllable than the sun rising and setting.

I suffer PTSD.  I also take Cymbalta for it.  I will never be able to come off of this drug; because of it.  Without this drug, I can’t go out in public, I suffer in anxiety in crowds, I have uncontrollable episodes of rage and violence, incredible bouts of fear, my mind likes to cycle into madness and my fight or flight response is in overdrive.  I am not ashamed of my PTSD; because it shows the world that I survived what could have destroyed me.  I have had four traumatic instances in my life that have caused me to be at this point in my life and each one could have easily destroyed a weaker person.  I think of it as a badge of honor, not a stigma of shame.  I wish others could feel the same about themselves.

I don’t want to see another school shooting.  I don’t want to see another Oklahoma City bombing.  I don’t want to see another Washington Sniper or Las Vegas Shooter.  I want to see mental health care given a priority.  I want the stigma removed from it.  I want us to live in a better, more caring world.

Taking our guns away will not stop the violence.  Those who wish to do harm will find a way.  We need to wake up and help our fellow humans to be better humans.  Wake up, people!!!  We are turning into our own worse nightmare and if we’re not careful, we may wake up imprisoned by the very people who want to use violence against us.

Walking out for gun violence is not going to solve anything and most who walk out will only do it to get out of class.  Addressing the underlying issue will go a lot further than unarming our citizens.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe while doing it.

God Bless!

 

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.

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

 

 

 

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………………..