FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

tl-from-my-heart-to-yoursFebruary is a rough month for me – I’ll just admit it.  It’s a time when I remember a lot of happy times that I’ll never get back.  My mom’s birthday was the 15th and my dad’s birthday was the 21st – just a week apart!  I always baked a heart-shaped cake for my mom – and put pink or red icing on it with little red-hot candies.  We never had fancy celebrations, but we had each other and that’s what really mattered.  I can’t remember any of the gifts I gave her, but I remember the love in the room while she opened each of them.  ❤

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My dad loved German chocolate cake – and I’m not a baker – so to the boxed cake aisle I’d go to pick up a mix and some icing – although I’m not sure you can call that icing – I suppose it is…  that coconut concoction.  LOL!  Dad’s cake was a simple 9×13 sheet cake – I never made a cake that had to be stacked – I’m practical – and if that puppy had to ride in the car with me – it was going to be a sheet cake!  ❤

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Dad’s Birthday 2-21-85

I have memories recorded on 8mm film – which a few years back I had put on DVD.  There’s no sound, but I can read lips just fine.  I remember every word, even though I can’t hear their voices.  I can’t hear their voices…  but I will hear them again.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

I’ve made a sort of study out of this grief journey.  This blog is one manifestation of my grief experience.  I hope it’s made me more empathetic to others, if nothing else.  When people you love die, you don’t have anywhere for that love to go anymore.  This month I went out to the cemetery and replaced the flowers – but there were no hugs, no smiles, no warm greetings.  Thankfully, there was no snow, or it would have been colder still.  There’s nothing quite so cold and, well, dead…  as a cemetery.  Without faith to sustain, it would appear that it’s all over and there’s no hope.  Ah, but there is faith – there is hope.  I’m not without hope – nope. 

One of these days my Savior will come for me and all who have asked Him into their hearts and lives.  Whether I have the opportunity to live out a full life and die – or get snatched up and fly away…  it really doesn’t matter because I’m going to see Christ face to face.  These memories I hang on to for now…  well, I won’t need those anymore.  I’m not going to pretend to know exactly what lies ahead – but I trust God, through my Savior – and whatever it is…  it’s okay by me.  ❤

Here’s what I do know.  I will see my family again – and it’s going to be great because there will be hugs, smiles, and warm greetings – and we will never have to say good-bye again!  ❤

A Prayer for the Grieving

Lord, please come sit with me today. I need you now as I’m so sad. My heart can’t take much more. Just let me feel again. God, please heal my broken heart. In the quietness, I feel closest to you. Help me to serve others despite the pain. Let peace and love surround all who grieve today, tomorrow and always. I trust you to carry me through this long journey of grief and pain. Thank you for allowing me to share the life of my precious loved one. Please give me comfort in my pain, your love to see me through, and your strength to keep me going. Amen.

When they died, I thought I might too.  But somewhere along the way, the memories took over where the pain was once so raw I thought I couldn’t stand it.  ❤

You know, everyone in school was a bit jealous of me because I was an only child and didn’t have to “share” anything with siblings when I was at home – but let me tell ya…  there’s a flip side to being the only one – it’s lonely when you realize you’re responsible for everything.  I relied so heavily on my parents, not only for moral support, but for spiritual support.  I knew they prayed for me every day.  I miss those prayers so much.  ❤

 

NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

TL 3-18 NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

I’ve lived on this planet for nearly five and a half decades…  and believe me when I say I’ve had my share of AWKWARD moments!  With every one of them, I’ve learned to shake it off and move on as I laugh (and pee a little…)  sorry – TMI.

There’s a reason that Taylor Swift’s song, Shake It Off resonates with the masses.  We’re all too human and that means we are not perfect, which means that at times we are all awkward and experience awkward moments.  The good news is – our awkward moments in life are not life-altering.  We know that God works ALL things for our good – and by all, I mean – ya know… ALL! 

That’s why we must not give up – on anything!  We have to remember that every day will not be filled with roses and violin music!  If it was, we’d have precious little to share in the way of life experience – let alone, things to look back on and have a hearty laugh!  Some things make us more human, and the humanity is the part that we all have in common.  It makes us more relatable to one another.

So, with a humble heart and blushing cheeks, I share my most awkward moment in ministry.  I wouldn’t trade this day for anything, yet I definitely would not like to relive it either.  :-/

I GUESS IT'S TRUE

Being part of ministry in any capacity is never a waste of time.  Remember the words to the old hymn…

Only one life, so soon ’twill be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.

There can be – shall I say, “awkward moments” along the way.  We know that God leads the way and He gave us many safe trips for sure!  Awkward moments happen though – with people and situations.  :-/

From the mid 1980’s through the mid 1990’s, my husband and I were part of a gospel quartet.  We spent time traveling around and ended up in a small town in Kansas for a Sunday evening service.  I decided to wear blue jeans and a tee-shirt for traveling, certain that there would be a place to change my clothes.

When we got to the church, we got all set up and was ready to practice to adjust the sound and so forth…  I casually looked around the small church, but did not see a restroom.  I began to panic a little and pray a lot.  I needed to put my dress on for the concert.

About that time, the pastor walked in – all smiles.  I was nearly in tears.  I was embarrassed to ask, so had my husband ask if there was a restroom.  When my husband came back to tell me – I could tell by the look on his face – this was not going to be good.  The restroom was an outhouse.  Yep – and that’s where I changed clothes.

I got ‘er done, folks!  Dignity intact, I’m happy to report.  Then we played a few more songs in the sanctuary – and noticed a scraggly old dog had walked into the church.  He decided to lay down in the aisle and listen.  We played one song – then the dog got up, turned around and walked right back out the door.  LOL!!!

My husband said…  Now THAT’S a critic!  🙂

 

1 JOHN 4:16 ON 4/16

1 JOHN 4 16 ON 4 16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  – 1 John 4:16

Aren’t you so thankful for the love of God?  We can’t always depend on friends or loved ones to have unconditional love – but God understands us when no one else does.

Hurt people hurt people.  That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation.  Break the chain today.  Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness.  Greet grimaces with smiles.  Forgive and forget about finding fault.  Love is the weapon of the future.  – Yehada Berg

Yesterday a “friend” on facebook disapproved of an opinion I had.  It’s no secret that I’m a conservative Republican and there are certain hot topics that push my buttons.  I’m not a fan of socialism at all.  My parents lived through WWII and I’m well versed on the benefits of living in a free nation.

My “friend” told me she thought I was hard-hearted and didn’t think my opinion was very Christian like.  Sometimes “friends” can be downright judgmental and cruel.  It’s funny that a person who does not know the real me (we’ve never met) has the nerve to say those things.  Well – I think she completely misunderstood what I was saying – but we know misunderstandings happen between friends – sadly, even between Christian friends.

Those comments really hurt me and I asked God to help me be kinder and softer – and I asked Him to help me forgive and forget.  The faster I can do that – the happier I will be.  God knew what I was trying to say on my timeline – and I guess that’s all that matters.  Should I not voice an opinion on facebook?  Sometimes when I bite my tongue, I almost bite it in half!  Believe it or not, I’ve shown great restraint!

I don’t think it’s wrong for me to have an opinion about the direction our country is going in.  If we just stay quiet, does that help?  Has it helped so far?  We all need God’s strength and His comfort.  His light and His guidance.  The future frightens me and I love liberty and freedom.  I see it slipping away bit by bit and oh yes – that scares me.  And yes, I know God is in control.

At times like this I’m reminded of this familiar verse:

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  – Unknown

Unknown sure does write some good stuff!  It’s a shame we can’t give someone credit for those wise words.  They are so true!  Because God loves us so much, He will help us do better and be better.  I still don’t think it’s right for Christian brothers and sisters to browbeat each other into “submission” – that’s not our job.  Instead, we need to pray for one another – even when we don’t agree with each other.  God can deal with each of us so much better than anyone else.

Look, nobody is perfect – and I’m like at the very TOP of that imperfect list.  I do my best to be kind and loving, and if something I say doesn’t come across that way, I do apologize.  I hope you will forgive me.

YOUR VICTORY IS WON

On Easter we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  He is our example and He is the one who will help all of us be better human beings.  Criticism from other Christians really doesn’t do much to help anyone.  But God – and God’s patience, His guidance and His love – will stay with each of us – forever.  He will make me better.  I listen to His gentle prodding.  His Holy Spirit helps me, comforts me and sustains me.

It does my heart so much good to know I’m not the only conservative in the country.  I’m in good company!

We drove around in an old Pontiac…  towing a one-wheel trailer.  We weren’t itinerant:  It wasn’t The Grapes of Wrath, but it wasn’t uptown either.  It gives you a sort of conservative background, being raised in an era when everything was scarce.  – Clint Eastwood

Well – we had an old 1968 Chevy – when I got my driver’s license, mom and I shared the car.  I drove to school and when I got home, she drove to the grocery store.  We were not a wealthy family – and yes, when material possessions are scarce, you appreciate and take better care of what you have.  People make me feel like I have to apologize for that – and no, I won’t.  I’m so very grateful for all I have.  Today I don’t want for anything because I know what it’s like to have nearly nothing.

Shouldn’t we be adult enough to discuss political differences without name calling? If I have a political opinion that you don’t agree with, don’t poke at my standing with the Lord!  That’s not cool.  I’m praying for your enlightenment on the matter.

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created Spring.  – Bern Williams

To the sister who wants me to grow a more tender heart:  you really don’t know me – but instead of criticizing and judging – try praying for this ultra-conservative Republican Christian.  I need it – I really do!  Wink!  😉

 

LEFT HANDER’S DAY

TL 8-13 LEFT HANDER'S DAY

Money can’t buy happiness, love, smiles or laughter! – Linda Palmer

I’m sure when my parents adopted me in 1961 they had their share of mixed feelings about it. On one hand excitement of welcoming a new person into their lives. On the other hand the worries about finances and possible clashes in personality and so forth.

All morning I’ve tried to think of the perfect way to describe my parents to you. I’ve prayed and stewed over it, but I would describe these two as the easiest people in the world to live with! Not a day passed that was not filled with joy – happiness, love, smiles and laughter! We had it all – every day!

There were no hassles and no real fights. We just lived and loved and enjoyed life together. I really was a happy little girl. I miss them every day but in my writing I hope to keep them alive in my mind. Those memories and remembering the values they instilled in me are what bring a smile to my face today.

Today is LEFT HANDER’S DAY – but I know it as Southpaw Day. There are many famous southpaws in the world, but I do have a favorite. My dad was left-handed. He had such a great talent for art and used that talent in his construction work. I’ll let you in on a little secret though – my most fond memory of my dad’s talent is when he drew cartoons for me. Unfortunately I do not have them anymore (kicking myself) but once in a while I’d say, “Daddy, draw me some cartoons.” He drew the Peanuts characters as well as Schulz and if you saw his drawings of Popeye you’d think Sagendorf himself had drawn them! He could also draw any of the Looney Tunes just as well as Hugh Harman.  Hmm…  wonder if any of them were southpaws…

I miss you daddy – but I’m okay. It makes me happy to know you’re okay too – you’re with Jesus.