What Do You Celebrate?

At the beginning of this month, we celebrated the Fourth of July with some of our family, and the fireworks display at the end of the night was the perfect ending to a perfect day. It was absolutely beautiful!

We all celebrate things, people and happenings in our lives. We celebrate holidays, birthdays and new beginnings. We celebrate new babies, marriages, graduations and retirements, but I wonder how often we stop and actually ponder those celebrations. I wonder if we actually think about who and what we are celebrating. 

Do we see the person or just simply the event in their life? Do we recognize the growth in the graduate, or do we only see the loss of a child at home? Do we see the joy in the eyes of the new mom and her baby, or do we only see the birth? Do we see the wealth of wisdom in the retiree, or do we only see the age and tired body?

As I was going back through those pictures of the fireworks and reminiscing the day, I smiled as I thought of our family and the celebration. It wasn’t simply a day to celebrate a patriotic holiday and a few beautiful fireworks. We joined together to celebrate the strength of family, the joy of togetherness, and the gratefulness we have to live in this country of the free and the brave. 


Yeah, now THAT’S a celebration. 😉❤️🇺🇸

I Survived!


Well, my phone acted like a fish this last Monday evening. We had had a wonderful evening with friends, out on the lake, watching the sunset, docking at a great restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal, and we were headed back into the marina to call it a night. The sun had set, and the sky just had the last few remnants of the beautiful color and light. I decided I needed one more picture to add to the beautiful collection I had gathered throughout the evening. I aimed and attempted to click the button. 

All of a sudden, the phone literally flipped out of my hand, bounced on the seat, flipped once more and splashed ever so slightly into the lake. I promise you, had it been a fish, it wouldn’t have surprised me, because it seemed desperate to reach that water! Had it not been so shocking and annoying to lose all that information and photos in an instance, it would have been quite comical. 

So, I’ve spent the last 3 days pretending to live back a few decades when you actually had to tell someone where you’d be and wait until your arrive at the given place to actually talk to someone. I’ve spent the last 60+ hours using my Mac to do a little texting communication and to check FB and to blog. It’s been an interesting week, and I can say, I survived! 😂 For those of you who think you can’t live without that little handheld black box of communication, you might want to try it…maybe not by dropping your phone in the lake, but maybe by allowing it to sit alone by itself for a few hours in a day. I stand as a witness, it can be done. 😉

It actually was nice to not have the pressure of answering phone calls, checking for text messages and following up with Messenger messages. It was nice to be able to tell my family exactly where and when I was going to be somewhere and allow my boys to depend solely on their father while we were a part. It was nice to have hours on end of quiet and focus without the distraction of the phone. Actually, this separation from my phone happens more often than you might think, but the presence of it was always near, and to not have it there was both enlightening and strengthening. 😊

If I’m being honest, I’d have to confess, it was not so nice, however, to not have my calendar to keep up with appointments and to wonder if my sweet memories held in photographs might be returned. It was, also, not so nice to not have the convenience of google when I needed it at my fingertips to look up bits of information. Yet, it was doable, and everything in the world didn’t fall apart due to a simple phone loss. Yeah…

Oh, and my almost 16 year old son was sweet enough to allow me to “hold” his phone for a few hours while I drove to and from Atlanta one day this week. That was both surprising and refreshing. Miracles do happen. Imagine that! 😂

Looking For A Sign

Read this Scripture today, and even though, I’ve read it before, it seemed to come alive to me once more. “Lord, You are my portion and my cup…” He not only is what fills me, but He is the vessel which holds the filling, the portion. He is truly all we need! 

Our pastor’s sermon this morning was titled, “Surrounded by Miracles While Still Asking for a Sign.” He talked about how everything around us is a miracle. We live on this little blue marble, which circles this great big ball of fire, while a sphere of rock illuminated by that ball of fire controls and maintains our ocean tides, all hurling through space, while all surrounded by rock and death and other masses of fire. This tiny blue marble has the perfect conditions for life and oxygen, wind and rain. All the while, we have this heart beating within our chest over which we have absolutely no control, and we still sit here demanding God for a sign. We keep saying, “God, I don’t see any miracles today. I don’t see Your hand moving as it once did. I can’t see any miraculous acts declaring Your glory and power.” 

How blind are we? How wicked is our wayward heart? There are miracles all around us, we just fail to see them. Our eyes are not given to us to see. Our eyes are given to us to look through. We must allow Him to give us the right perspective. We must allow Him to cause our eyes to see. 

2 Kings 6:17, shows us how the Lord does this. Elisha was surrounded by the army of Arameans who were commanded by the king to kill him. Elisha’s servant saw this army and was afraid while Elisha didn’t fear. He knew God was on his side and would win the battle. Elisha prayed this prayer for his servant, ““Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) That’s a pretty big difference in just a moment of time. God gave him a new perspective. 

Sometimes, we must have a new perspective to see clearly. There are times in our lives when God isn’t going to answer the prayers we pray the way we believe they should be answered. There are going to be moments when things don’t make sense, and we wonder where God is and if He has forsaken us. There will be other days when we get into the mode of comparing our lives with someone else’s and wondering why God is blessing them so much, and we just seem to get the skimpy leftovers of life. 

That is when we need to remember this scripture in Psalm 16. This is when we must remember the story of Elisha and his servant. This are the very moments when we must ask God to give us the right perspective that we might see His miracle right here within our own chest.  

I pray He’d give you eyes that you might see. 💗

Pinterest

Who Are You Leaving Out?

I read this story the other day, and it brought tears to my eyes… http://nicerdays.org/tb-newspaper-column-response/

Exclusion is so painful; yet, even more painful is watching someone so oblivious to the truth. My prayer is that I might always be aware of the truth and never be so blinded by my own “rightness.” It is so easy to become exclusive and not even realize the damage we are doing, the harm we are bringing, or the pain we are inflicting. We must always be giving ourselves ‘heart checks.’ We must always self-evaluate. If we ever get to the place where we believe we could “never be like the woman in this article,” or we believe our motives are always pure, and we could never intentionally exclude someone, that is when we run the risk of becoming the most dangerous person we could ever know. 

We all falter, and we all make mistakes. I just pray if and when I do fall, that God will help me to recognize the truth…the truth of my own wicked and deceitful heart. The key to success is to constantly question your motives and to surround yourself with truth speakers. People who can honestly give you wisdom, who can love you for who you are and who will never drink too much of your “koolaid,” but rather, will be the one who always challenges you to be a better person than who you are presently. 

I pray I always have a gracious friend who gently helps to open my eyes to see clearer…or a loving friend who gives me a good, strong and swift kick in the pants when I’m veering off the path of goodness and grace!😉

#realfriendsaretruthspeakers 

Friday’s Friends #17

Today is Friday, and this is the day I get to share a new blog with you. I always love this time, because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to be shared! These blogs have inspired me, encouraged me, or simply challenged me, and I hope for you, they’ll do the same. 😊

Joyouslyhopeful is a great blog where you’ll find encouragement and an incredible story of survival. She wrote Broken Pieces last year, and if I remember right, that’s how I found her blog. I love the picture in this post and the symbolism it gives. We are all broken pieces which make up His beautiful masterpiece. Her personal story is one of broken pieces becoming a magnificent masterpiece. 

I hope you will check out her blog today. Enjoy! 

Sometimes, You Go Back

We are constantly pushed forward. Always looking ahead. Never glancing back. Leaving it all behind. Never to return…

A few days before Mother’s Day, my husband reminded me of this old song I sang in church years ago. It’s a song about being thankful and satisfied with all the blessings we have in life. He said, “You need to download that song. It was a really good song.” Often, he has a way of rekindling the embers within my heart that I’ve let lie dormant for too long… 

On Sunday morning, this same man who knows my heart so well, made references in his sermon of what kind of person I was when he met me, of how he married me because he not only loved me, but he liked me even more, and several of the reasons why. All of these moments of reminiscence put me in the mode of deep thoughts throughout day… 

So, on the evening of Mother’s Day, you would have found me sitting on the floor of our bedroom, searching iTunes for all these old school songs from my childhood and teen years, making myself a new playlist. Now, when I say old school, I’m taking “child of the 80s” throwbacks. If you’re younger than me, you might have never heard of these. If you are of my age or older, you probably know the ones I’m talking about… 

Songs like: Steve Camp’s “Do You Feel Their Pain?” and Amy Grant’s “Father’s Eyes,” Rez Band’s “Shadows” and “Silence Screams,” 2nd Chapter of Acts’ “Which Way The Wind Blows,” and even Keith Green’s “Summer Snow.” Yeah, I was definitely walking down memory lane. Reminders of childhood. Reminders of days gone by, lost by the years, forgotten by past sins, neglected and packed away by the demands of the here and now. 

As I’ve listened to these old tunes all through the week, reminiscing of the days of old, I have come to realized there are moments when you must go back. You don’t go back to stay. You don’t even go to hang out for a while. You simply step back to those moments and pick back up the precious values and pieces of your life that you were never meant to leave behind. 

Sometimes, we leave behind treasured shards of our person that were broken, shattered or severed from our heart because of evil, tragedy or abuse. Just because we are wounded, God never meant for us to leave the good with it. Just because we lost ourselves to sin, busyness or just the chaos of life, doesn’t mean He meant for us to leave the love and grace He gave to us in the beginning. 

Sometimes, we must step back and snatch those cherished things away from our buried past in order to become the complete whole person He desires for us to be today. Sometimes, we must remember in order to move forward. Sometimes, we must reminisce in order to live on. 

However, a note of caution when you do this. It can be very tempting to stay in that place, to just remain in the days of old, to never return to the daily grind, thinking somehow it will be easier and less painful than the growth demanded in present day. Yet, if you remain, you realize that truly those things don’t fit you anymore. They are like an old jacket discarded, no matter how much you move and struggle to make it adjust, it’s too tight across the chest. Your heart has out grown them, because He desires new things for you, bigger and better things for you now. 

Pick up what you must and move beyond quickly. Return to the present to be the stronger, wiser, and more complete warrior whom He has destined you to be! He has incredible plans ahead! Get ready! 😊

**Note: I do not own nor possess any of the linked songs or videos above. These are tagged from a simple google/YouTube search.**

Friday’s Friends #16

Today is Friday, and it’s time for one of my favorite things on this blog: sharing a new friend with you! Today is a special treat as the blog I just came across is brand new and by a good friend of mine. I think you will be very blessed by what coffeewithasliceoflife has to share, and I hope you will follow. 😊


Where Is The Word?

YouVerse

Sometimes, we hide His Word under our pillow or underneath the bed. It may be hidden under the car seat or even under the Greatful Dead. Once in a while, it can be hidden under the pews, but if it’s not hidden deep within our hearts, we can never truly give Him all that He’s due. 

Mother’s Day Can Be Tough

Motherhood can be so tough sometimes. We constantly feel like we will ever measure up. We don’t have enough time to do all the things we should do, all the things we want to do, all the things we must do. We make mistakes. We carry guilt. We live with regrets.

We compare our lives with the next mom, and we believe we should be better, or we believe we are better; either way it leaves us feeling empty and so much less than. We want more. We want less. We strive to be better, different or just simply unique in this life in which we long to succeed.

Then, Mother’s Day rolls around. All the cards, all the words, all the commercials, the candy, the gifts. Do we deserve all that? Do we want all that? Do even we need all that? For one day out of the year we should be treated like a queen; yet, too often the ashes of our past and our pain cloud the skyline of love and generosity.

Too often, those who have experienced the loss of those tender heartbeats, those tiny hands and feet and those little coos, they are burdened with more tears, more grief, more torn and shattered dreams. Many times, those who have never heard, have yet to see and may never embrace, will see those precious notes of laughter like liquid gold captured in such fleeting moments, be wisped away like sand through their fingertips. They are left on these days feeling so much lower, so broken and bruised, tattered and marred.

Where is the hope? Where is the life? Where is the new birth that is promised with the dawn? Will it ever come? Was it ever meant to be? Is it ever for me? Is it ever for you?

Some will never take comfort in a Higher being. Some will never seek out the faith I have found, but I stand here as a living testimony to His grace, His power, and His promises come true. The ashes will be turned to beauty. The mourning will be turned to gladness and joy. The despair will be turned to praise like the morning sun. One that envelopes and consumes your very being and soul.

How does it come? I do not know. How does it transpire? I cannot comprehend. When does He bring it to pass? I cannot tell. The only answer I have is to confirm the Why? Because He loves you. He loves me, and through that love, all things are possible. ❤

Happy Mother’s Day!

5/14/2017

Where Are They Going?

It’s our job, as mothers, to train them to be men, to live strong and free in this wild world. It’s our duty to equip them with the tools they need to be a man, a husband, a worker and a leader. 

We work hard to teach, give advice and impart wisdom for those short 18 years we have them within our home. It’s not easy. It’s not without failures. It’s not without mistakes. 

Yet, when we allow God to guide, and we allow Him to love through our tender hearts, they will follow the right path. Even if they stray, His Word will always call them back to the right Way. His love will always whisper within their souls…no matter where their little feet may trod…

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6