Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thank God for the Broken Roads

RASCAL FLATTS LYRICS

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

[Chorus:]Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

[Chorus:]Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Now I'm just rollin' home into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.

I can't get this song out of my head today. I sat out on my patio listening to the sweet song of the birds that are returning. I saw the first gorgeous yellow and black butterfly of the season flitting among the buttercups. The sky overhead was bright and welcoming. My answer is coming. I feel it in the breeze. And whatever brokenness that I had to endure, God blessed this broken road that led me straight to Him.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fighting the Good Fight

The sun is sinking behind my shoulder. What an awesome day to be alive in God's world. Spring has sprung here in Tennessee, and soon we will have to do something about that grass growing. Last winter I was wondering if we would even be in this house for another spring. But we are here. For one more day we have survived. No one has foreclosed. No one has repossessed. I still feel the wolf howling at my door. I still wonder what each new day will bring. I still struggle to keep my faith alive. And yet, I'm still here--still wearing that sign that a fellow blogger, Mary, talks about, "Work In Progress" upon my back.

I know I'm not perfect. So many unbelievers expect us Christians to have it all together. They watch and wait for us to slip up, to fail, to sin. I know people are watching to see what my reaction to these trials are. And I know that they are going to see days when I sadly fail. There are days, yes, when I hang my head and cry. I am human. I have not arrived yet. I am just like you, unbeliever--except for the Hope I have within. If not for Christ, there would be no hope. If not for Christ, I might have overdosed by now--or killed myself driving drunk. No, I am not a drug user. But who knows where I might be today--if not for Christ.

I struggle with fear and anger. I struggle with envy and bitterness. These are the things that Christ is working to perfect in me daily. I struggle with feelings of worthlessness, yet I know that in Christ I am a new creation. I have to remind myself that I am the apple of His eye. I have all the same emotions as you. Christ was tempted in all points, as we. Yet he was sinless.
Today I stopped and asked him how he managed to overcome that carnal nature. His answer: Sacrifice. He sacrificed his entire being. He totally gave Himself up to the will of His father. It was not an easy life. He was betrayed by even His closest friends. And I think I have been wronged...No, my friend. We don't know what it means to be literally crucified.

I am struggling with many fears today as I write this. If you have read my blog very much, you know that it is, indeed, a rollercoaster for me. Up one day. Down the next. When you pray, remember me. If you have requests, leave them here. I will pray. Together we will win this battle for God's glory. Have a good night all.

Monday, March 27, 2006

One Day At a Time

Lamentations 3:24
"Deep in my heart I say, "The Lord is all I need; I can depend on him!"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

This and That

I know this has been a really heavy month. Some of the posts have probably been a bit difficult for you to read, seeing as I share all my trials and tribulations here. But please don't stop coming by friends. I haven't forgotten how to have fun. Things will get better; you'll see.

I visit some of my friend's blogs when I am feeling blue, and they seem to do the trick. Southern Gal Goes North always seems to brighten my days, if you want to check out her blog. I also visit Holy Mama's blog regularly. She describes herself as "a sorta shallow Christian mom." I know she's not really shallow, she just likes to visit the fun side of life in her blog. Lisa and Diane both have great blogs, which I have linked to in the sidebar. My friend, JL has a men's blog that is really great (I peeked.) So some of you men who find my ramblings boring might check out his site. Queen of Hearts is another literary blog. She has interests that match mine, and I'm so glad we found something to share here.

I have been criticized lately for spending so much time in front of the computer blogging, instead of getting out and exercising. I have always enjoyed exercising my brain more than my body. It is no secret that I struggle with being overweight. I particulary enjoyed JL's most recent post pertaining to this, though. Men, it is important to edify the women in your life. Don't tear them down. Build them up. I deserved the criticism from my dear cousin. I sort of "belittled" those that go to the gym. But I was wrong in that. It was a way of making myself feel better for not going--to assuage my guilt. You go to the gym all you want. It's paying off, and you're looking great. And you will live much longer. I can't say that I have the will or determination to be that disciplined, much less lose over a 125 lbs. in a year. Tim, I am so proud of you. I do publicly apologize. If I could move you to Paris to motivate me daily, I would. I think it's awesome that you have a new lease on life. Gals, he's single and looking good. If you want his info, let me know.

Kudos to my sister as well, who has lost over 40 lbs. Way to go. I'm wearing that blue sweater of yours today. And yes, it does get bigger every time you wear it. But that's good for me.

Here's a survey that might keep you busy til I post again:

1) What is your favorite ethnic food? Mine: Italian.
2) What is your favorite comfort food? Mine: Mac N Cheese ( My granny's recipe)
3) Tell one of your most embarrassing moments: Me: Which one of my many falls do you want to hear about? The one at Dunkin Donuts? Or the time I tumbled down the stairs at the Opryland Hotel on a Senior trip with a skirt on?
4) Tell of a memorable adventure: Me: Climbing out of the cliff dwellings in New Mexico and crying the whole time, thinking I was going to fall off the cliff and die. (Because I'm so clumsy, it was a real fear.)
5) What is your favorite holiday movie? Me: There are so many. It's a Wonderful Life.
6) If your house caught on fire, what, besides your family or pets, would you save first? Me: I would try to drag my photos out. But I have so many of those. Maybe my disk with my work on it. Oh, and the box where I kept all my journals all these years.
7) Favorite comedy? Me: Lately I've been watching reruns of Friends, Roseanne (which isn't particularly fit to watch, but reminds me so much of me and my hubby), and I Love Lucy never fails.
8) Favorite drama: Me: Addicted to CSI and Law and Order.
9) Favorite flower: Ivory roses.
10) Favorite time of year: Summer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Open Eyes, Doors, and Hearts

Mark 7:22 As Jesus and his disciples were going into Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch the man. Jesus took him by the hand and led him out of the village, where he spit into the man's eyes. He placed his hands on the blind man and asked him if he could see anything. The man looked up and said, "I see people, but they look like trees walking around."
Once again Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes, and this time the man stared. His eyes were healed, and he saw everything clearly."

This is the scripture reference for yesterday's sermon by Bro. David Huges, new pastor at Gregory's Chapel Assembly of God, my home church. Here is what I got out of it:

Sometimes Jesus leads us outside of our comfort zone and uses or causes unpleasant things to happen to us to heal us. I'm sure none of us would relish the thought of someone spitting in our eyes. If Jesus had told the man what he was going to do, the man probably would have recoiled in disgust. He probably would not have believed that this would heal him. He likely would not have even let Jesus lead him out of town, out of his familiar surroundings and circumstances.
But Jesus knew best. Jesus wanted to prove to the man that He could, in fact, heal him of his blindness. He took him out of town, away from the crowds to make this a personal encounter. He wanted the blind man to know the extent of his miracle.

Notice that the blind man did not see clearly at first. He saw men walking as trees. His healing was a progressive work by Christ. It was not that Jesus couldn't have healed him totally the first time. I think it was because Jesus wanted the man to realize that He is continually doing a work in our lives, continually improving and healing. Sometimes we don't see our fellowman clearly, as Christ sees them. We pay no more attention to them than as if they were trees around us. But Jesus wants us to see them clearly. He wants us to see others as He sees them--works in progress. As we move toward Christ in our journey, we become more and more like him, and less like trees of the field. Our souls make us different than any of His other creations. He created us to worship Him. He wants our fellowship. And if He has to lead us out of our comfort zone and introduce us to some unpleasant things to get it, then we must acknowledge that He knows best and is doing this for our ultimate good.

Joel Osteen preached on resting in God last night. He said if you are doing your best to live for Christ and doing all you know to do to please Him, then you are right where you are supposed to be. We need to stop fighting against what is going on in our lives and rest in the knowledge that He will never leave us or forsake us. We don't have to control every situation of our lives if we relinquish to His control. If all the doors are closed, then He must have a purpose. BUT, once the God of heaven decides to open the doors and pour out a blessing, nothing can stop it. He will open a door that no man can shut.

Revelations 3:7 "I am the one who is holy and true, and I have the keys that belonged to David. When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it."

This trial is only temporary my friend. This life on earth is temporary. "I am coming soon. So hold firmly to what you have, and no one will take away the crown that you will be given as your reward. Everyone who wins the victory will be made into a pillar in the temple of my God, and they will stay there forever."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thought for the Day

Today is pick on K.K. day. I just have to tell this story about my baby sister that goes along with my thoughts for the day. She's probably going to kill me, but hey, what's the use in having a baby sister if you can't pick on her, right?

My sister is famous for hitting deer. They just seem to be attracted to her vehicle. A couple of years ago, her car was in the shop--I forget why, probably from one of these incidents. The insurance company had provided a rental car for her to drive in the meantime. It was a pretty shade of red or burgundy, totally unlike her pearl white Stratus.

One rainy Friday night, she and my brother-in-law decided to eat out at Ryan's. When they finished the meal, it was still pouring down rain. So, being the gentleman that he is, my brother-in-law headed out in the downpour to get the car and pick my sister up at the curb.

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity with the other wives in the lobby, K.K. finally sees the red car pull up to the curb. She doesn't have an umbrella, so she runs to the car as quickly as possible, only to find that the doors are locked. The rain is beating down on her unmercifully. Her hair is going flat. Her outfit is getting soaked. She is frustrated.

"Unlock the door, T. I'm getting soaked," she yells, but nothing happens. This irritates her, but she figures with it being a rental car that he cannot find the right buttons to push. She stands in the rain getting wetter and wetter.

"Hurry up, you idiot. I'm getting soaked!" she starts to scream. I can just hear her now. Finally the locks pop up, and she plops down in the seat ready to take his head off I'm sure. But much to her surprise, as she is still fussing, she turns, and in the driver's seat is not her husband, but a distinguished looking grey headed gentleman. He is smiling broadly at her. The ladies at the curb are watching; no doubt one is this man's wife. She has gotten into the wrong car! Her husband is in the car directly behind this one wondering what in the world she is doing, as is everyone under the pavilion. They begin to laugh as the man's wife has probably filled them in that she has gotten in the wrong car.

I'm not sure how my sister handled this. I'm sure she apologized profusely. The gentleman seemed genuinely amused. No wonder he would not unlock the door for her. She was a stranger. But evidently her persuasion caused him to obey. Or maybe it was the fact that she was a young, beautiful blonde. I don't know. I bet it was the highlight of his night, even if he did get yelled at. I about wet my pants when my sister relayed the story to me, and she was able to laugh at herself as she told it. I laugh every time I think of it.

What's my point, you might ask, in telling this? Well, the moral of this story is: Don't complain about what is going wrong in your life until you make sure the right person is in the driver's seat.
I want God in the driver's seat at all times. Don't you?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let Them Be Little

With children, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. No matter how embarrassing you think your child's latest stunt is, chances are it has happened to someone else. It goes with the program; children are unpredictable. They are honest to a fault, and yet, they are hopelessly devoted to you, no matter how much egg you have on your face. Psalms 127:3 says, “Children are a gift from God. They are a reward from Him.” God gives us these gifts to bring joy to our lives.

In her article, “And They Played All Day,” on www.aldort.com, Naomi Aldort,one of today's leading Parenting/Family counselors states:

“Life is a game. Perhaps adults have matured and forgotten this essential element
of life called play. We have become serious and have made an artificial distinction
between play and work and between play and study. Our children are here to
teach us to lighten up, to put a spark in our eyes and Play Life."Sometimes it is important to just “lighten up” and let them be little.

When my son CWGIII was three, he was chosen as Innkeeper in the church play. His line was: “No room,” and he was to point to the stable. Even though he managed to get out the two words, they were barely audible. His expression spoke for him, and by the next year his talent really began to shine. He graduated to the role of Shepherd complete with crook. The moment I saw him, I knew there was trouble brewing. Still, I could not help but swell with pride as my little shepherd marched out with the cast. He was the shortest of the group, but there was no problem seeing him. The pastor had a camera rigged to a huge screen where everyone would get a good view. We all smiled as the little angels made their way to the stage—and around it, and up to the organ, and over to the choir and back, wandering around in childlike curiosity, eager to adapt to their stardom.

“Aren't they adorable,” I whispered to my husband. Just as the shepherds had gotten situated on the risers I turned my attention to them to find Chase. I could not see him. He was on a middle row. Where was he? Suddenly the shepherd's crook came rising up between two characters on the front row. Everyone was chuckling as my son, the humble shepherd was trying to herd one of the cast off the stage with his crook. Then another shepherd tried to intervene. They had a brief tug-of-war over the crook before it fell between the risers. My mind was reeling as another shepherd got down between the risers. In my mind I was thinking, “Just let it lie.” I was burying my head in my hands, my cheeks aflame. A part of me was trying not to laugh along with everyone else. A part of me felt like crawling under the seat. The audience was getting a real kick out of the shepherds, and after it was over I was told what a comical success my son had made of the pageant. I just smiled and said, “He takes after his daddy.” What else could I say?

It is much like the time we ran into his preschool teacher at the grocery store, and Ms. Martha said, “Is your Mama cooking more these days?” I looked at her like she had three heads.
“Oh, has he complained about my lack of cooking skills?”
“Um...not really,” she replied, “he just loves Ms. Sue's cooking.”
But I knew better. It had not been two weeks since I had invited my family for dinner. I had cooked several dishes for my visitors from out of town. I was so pleased with how the meal turned out--until Chase came to the table and said, “Wow Mom, Is it Thanksgiving?” The child is not used to having family style meals. I fill our plates from the stove for the three of us, and usually it is simple fare, so naturally he thought it was a holiday. No wonder Ms. Martha thought his mom could not cook. That is what Chase thought too. I was glad that for once I had a buggy load of groceries.
Enjoy those moments, parents, for they are quickly gone. Make memories out of teachable moments. Use everyday events to reinforce these lessons. I relish the memory of teaching my son to tie his shoes, even though his first week in school he paid his friend Adam a quarter to tie them. No wonder I got the note from Ms. Tiffany saying we needed to work on tying. When I told her he had been paying Adam, she just laughed. And once again, I said, “He's just like his daddy.” I fear if we keep doling out quarters, he will find a way to pay someone to do his homework. And yes, kinderg√§rtners have homework these days. If you have not reached the kindergarten stage, just wait. They will be reading by Christmas. By May, they will be doing your taxes. Although Chase already knows the value of a quarter, we now have the task of teaching him to be thrifty, to save the money, and do the labor himself—a much less attractive option for Chase, as well as little entrepreneur Adam.

But, for every embarrassing moment, every crawl-under- the-table-and-hide episode, there are a million and one great moments. I get to hear my son pray that the rain will stop so he and his friend Katie can go swimming. I am amazed as the skies part and the sun appears. I get to hear him pray over a broken DVD remote and lay hands on it in soulful pleas. That remote worked fine within minutes. I get to hear him recount his Sunday School lessons and tell me about “Shadrork, Mooshark, and Abednego.” I get to hear him sing southern gospel with his daddy. As we travel, we turn the volume up and have a sing along.

I am so thankful that God chose to bless me with this wonderful child. He was worth nine months of vomiting, the 27 c-section staples, 4 a.m. feedings, and the poopy diapers. It is ok that I have a couch cushion I have to turn upside down because Chase became artistic with nail polish at the age of 2. It's ok that my car's interior is a rerun of Sanford and Son. Let them be little, I remind myself. Little shepherds and angels make for big blessings.

I had the honor of attending my son's school awards ceremony. My son walked proudly to the podium and received his Character award for honesty and helpfulness. Don't you know this forty-year-old mother was wanting to stand up and cheer! I had to bite my tongue from nudging the lady next to me and crowing, “He takes after his mom...”

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Another lesson

We've been out burning leaves this evening, and I can't help but find a lesson in that as well. Seems like everything that happens to me lately is for a lesson. God is opening my eyes to some very deep things. He is bringing me to His side and walking with me. We've had some great conversations these past few months.

As I watched the leaves curling and burning and turning to ash, I was thinking about how we are making way for the new grass and new growth to sprout up. We are getting rid of the remnants of Fall to make way for Spring. True, we should have done this months ago, but even now, it's not too late. And even though the ground will be charred and blackened, it won't take long for the new green grass to appear.

Perhaps this fire that we are going through is much the same way. It's burning out every bitter thing, every unprofitable and unproductive thing in our lives. Maybe it is serving to cauterize the bleeding our souls have endured the last ten years. Maybe it is sweeping away the layers of self, so that it can be replaced with the beauty that is God. I can only pray that what is left after the melting process is pure in His sight. I pray that these valuable lessons in these trials by fire are not in vain. I pray that strength will come through this adversity--and character. Didn't I pray a year or so ago for things to change? Why am I so surprised that they are? Who am I to judge God Almighty's methods of change?

I smile when I think of the Hebrew children in that furnace. They came out unscathed, with not so much as the smell of smoke on them. The fourth Man in the fire was their protector. He made a way for them. Hell's fire has no effect on the children of God. Devil, you might as well give up and get out of my way. You're going to lose that battle you're fighting with the angel that is on it's way with my miracle. It's only a matter of time. Even though I can't see the light at the end of this tunnel, that does not mean it isn't there. I feel its warmth on my spirit. I feel the love of my Father reaching down to me. And nothing you throw at me can change that or remove me from His hand. It is enough.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

In the Palm of the Master's Hand

Isaiah 41:13 "I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don't be afraid. I am here to help you."

Isaiah 43: 10-11. "My people, you are my witnesses, and my chosen servant. I want you to know me, to trust me, and understand that I alone am God. I have always been God; there can be no others. I alone am the Lord; only I can rescue you.

Isaiah 44:1-2. People of Israel, I have chosen you as my servant. I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. Israel, don't be terrified! You are my chosen servant, my very favorite."

Isaiah 46: 13. "I will soon come to save you. I am not far away and will waste no time.


Isaiah 48: 10. "I tested you in hard times, just as silver is refined in a heated furnace. I did this because of who I am. I refuse to be dishonored or share my praise with any other god."

Isaiah 49: 25. "Could a mother forget a child who nurses at her breast? Could she fail to love an infant who came from her own body? Even if a mother could forget, I will never forget you. A picture of your city is drawn upon my hand. You are always in my thoughts!"


Isaiah 51:16. "I have told you what to say, and I will keep you safe in the palm of my hand."

In our darkest hours, God's word speaks light and hope into our souls. He wanted me to share this with you today. Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fishing Lesson

We went fishing this afternoon, and much to our disappointment, we did not catch a thing. It reminded me of the story of the disciples that fished all night and came up empty handed. Then the Lord came along and simply said, "Cast your nets on the other side," and their nets were full to overflowing. This is what I am praying for--an intervention from the Lord.

It seems we are casting our nets on the wrong side of the boat. Nothing we have tried on our own has panned out. We are tired from the endless casting. We are struggling to make ends meet. God knows where those perfect jobs are. We are trying so hard to hear His voice. I keep thinking there is something somewhere we are missing. When you pray over every application, every interview, every opportunity, and all you hear are "no's," then something definitely, or Someone is trying to tell you, "Cast your net on the other side." Problem is, I'm not sure how to go about it. We've cast our nets everywhere. Where else is left? Or does it just seem like everywhere? We haven't gotten it right yet evidently.

The disciples were like us. They were doing all they knew to do. The fish were right there nearby, but until the Master spoke and told them where to go looking, their efforts were in vain.
Maybe I need to do more praying on the front end, before the interviews, before the applications. Maybe I need to say, "God, show me where to go today," instead of just casting out on my own and then asking Him if that was what He wanted. I'm sure if the disciples had consulted the Lord before striking out in the boat, He would have told them where to find the fish. Maybe they thought they knew more than He did. After all, fishing was their livelihood. Who else would know fish better? They forgot one thing: the Creator of the fish knew better than the fisherman.

Lord, help me today and in the days to come to let go and let You guide my footsteps. Help me to delight myself in You as You direct my paths. I know if You made a way for the children of Israel all those years in the desert, then You will make a way for me. I know if You fed the five thousand with the offering of a little boy, that you will surely feed me and my family. I know if You can cause manna to fall from the sky and water pour from a rock, that You were well able to provide for us. I know that the righteous are never forsaken. Help me God. Tell me where to cast the net. Then, let me be willing to do whatever it is that You ask. For You are the very air I breathe, and without You, there is no life. Everything I am and everything I could ever hope to become is totally dependent upon the mercy You have shown me. Without You I am lost and utterly without hope. I give it all to You--the hopes, the dreams, the disappointments, the failures, the ups and downs, the extraordinary and the mundane. It's all Yours Lord. Take this vessel You've made and do as You will and for Your glory.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Novel Update

Finished Chapters 9 and 10 today, and I must say I am quite pleased with where the story is headed. I have about 24,000 words, so I am roughly halfway through the entire novel. I know there are a million details I will need to iron out, but just getting the framework down is satisfying. Twenty-four thousand words, who knew I had so much to say? I feel like I am behind in my schedule. The sickness put me behind, but what's the rush? I guess there is none. My tentative finish date is a year from the starting point, and before I turn 41. Why that is important, I have no idea. I just want to know that my 40th year has been spent accomplishing at least one of my lifelong dreams. Purely selfish, mind you. But I will not know if I have what it takes if I do not try. And so, on I write.

CWG, Jr. seems impressed with the effort. He's read the ten chapters, and says, "For fiction, it's not bad. It kept my attention." Coming from him, that is quite the compliment. He doesn't read fiction at all. He prefers motivational nonfiction and biography. I find it helpful to get a male layman's opinion. After all, you want a broad readership. Rusty is helping me with the legalese, which is one of my many weak points. I keep second guessing my characters' actions. I think it's because I haven't lived with them long enough. As I read back through the first draft I see a million and one things I want to change. But all in due time. I'm just glad I've gotten back to it. It's like visiting a long lost friend...fairly easy to pick up right where you left off, but at the same time, you have to go back and recap a bit.

Tomorrow begins the third quarter. Let's hope it's a productive day. Talk to you later guys. Happy writing Lisa, Diane, JL, Porch, Dave, March, and all you other happy bloggers out there. Keep posting, so I will have fresh inspriation. Love to all.

Commitment--

He had kissed her on the bookstore parking lot with snowflakes falling thick around them. Their world seemed magical, all the stars and planets perfectly aligned. Even the universe agreed that these two made each other complete. They talked of a November wedding, but that was much too far away--maybe September. Finally they settled on a Saturday in June, four months away. But what an eternity that would be for this young couple so madly in love. So much of their lives had already gone by alone. They could not wait to be together. Neither questioned the rightness of their decision. They just knew.

If they could have seen ten years into the future, would their decision have been the same? So much water has swept under the proverbial bridge and carried them places they never would have imagined. They have travelled many places, seen many things, experienced many sorrows and trials and tears. Yet it has not all been bad. They have brought a new life into the world--a life that has brought immeasureable joy to them through all these dark valleys. So far it has been their crowning moment.

They have managed to keep their chins above the threatening swell thus far. The struggle has beaten them down a bit, but still, they reach for one another in the night and cling to the hope of a better tomorrow. They aren't ready to abandon ship just yet. Too many battles have been fought and won for them to throw it all away now. Sure, sometimes when the wind seems especially bitter, the urge to run to safer climes is strong. But they realize there is no happiness apart from the other. They know winter is only a season. With the steady passage of time, it, too will fade into Spring. If they can make it through one more day...just one more day.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

A Tragic Loss

My husband lost his Aunt Evelyn to a tragic car accident this past Friday. We don't know yet if there was some physical cause for the accident such as a heart attack or stroke, but she pulled out in front of a truck with a woman and three children. The mom is in the hospital at Vanderbilt. Please pray for her. I believe the children made it out ok. Pray for the family. Evelyn had several children and grandchildren as well as extended family who are all grieving tonight. She was a wonderful woman. She had spent the last several years taking care of an invalid husband who succumbed to his illness a year or so ago. She was 78. She was one of CWG, Sr.'s 9 sisters, 7 of whom survive. CWG, Sr. also had a brother who died in WWII, so it is a very large family. And even though this does not make the loss easier, there are at least many to share the burden. We will be attending visitation tomorrow night and the funeral Tuesday, so I may not post. Be in prayer for all involved. Pray that I may have some words of comfort for them or at least comfort them with our presence. I know I can count on all of you. Thanks in advance. Hug those you love tonight and tell them. Life is short.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Serenity

It was a balmy 74 degrees in Paris today, with the remnants of fall still swirling in the breeze about me. So overwhelmed with making a living last October, we failed to mulch the leaves. They're still here, scuttling across the drive with each new gust of wind--piling up against my patio doors and making for themselves nice beds around the box shrubs. I sat out on the patio at lunch today and remembered my yard full of family and friends around a blazing fire one cold October night. We didn't worry about the leaves that night either, except to maybe keep them from the fire pit.

My dog Maggie is growling at the neighbor's puppy who has made us his second family, much to my dismay. He drags items from our garage and proceeds to destroy them--leaving their fragments littered across the yard. I pick up the fragments of a nerf football and wonder how much of it he has eaten. I resent his intrusion into our lives. Maggie resents him. She growls and nips at him. She doesn't know the he cannot take her place. She's my little weather girl.
I brush the long strands of hair out of her eyes. I don't have the funds to get her groomed. I know she probably does not even mind. But I mind. I pull some stray leaves from her coat. She licks my hand and smiles--my fierce protector, my friend, my dog. What a great day to just exist, I tell myself.

I sit at my patio table and read some scripture out of Song of Solomon and Proverbs. God talks of His great love for His bride. He speaks of how He cherishes her and loves her and longs for her love. I know He is calling me to spend time with Him. I feel His gentle hands in the breeze caressing my cheek. He says, "My love, trust me." He says, " I have given you this day. It is a gift."Song of Solomon 7: 13 : "Right at our doorstep I have stored up for you all kinds of tasty fruits."He desires our company. He desires all of us. Proverbs 16:9 says: "We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go." Psalm 44:3 says: "Their strength and weapons were not what won the land and gave them victory. You loved them and fought with your powerful arm and your shining glory."

I must accept the things I cannot seem to change, try as I might. I must have the courage to change the things I can control--which seems to be very little at the moment. I must believe that He is fighting for me with His powerful arm and shining glory. My strength and my weapons are nil. I am utterly at His mercy. But I know that He loves me. And I lift my head up, and I thank Him for sending sunshine and balmy weather on this gorgeous first day of March and allowing me to spend it with Him admiring the work of His mighty hands. It'll be alright. It will all be ok. I will be ok.