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Tag Archives: Grateful

My Great Fortune

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been willing/able/determined to write.  However, something is coming up for me, and I feel so very blessed that I get the opportunity to be involved in it.  I most recently heard from a gentleman who told me a story about his nephew.  Now, this gentleman sent a message to me on Facebook a year ago, but it was hidden with many others.  When I finally saw it, I replied immediately.  I am so glad that I did.  This post will include opportunity, obedience, gratefulness, and I get the privilege of sharing such an amazing story.

Once I replied to the gentleman’s message, he seemed so happy to hear from me.  He wanted to tell me a story about his nephew who, two years ago, had been struggling with depression and did not feel like he wanted to live.  These stories always break my heart.  I know what it is like to not want to live regardless of all the really good people and things in life.  Depression does that to a person.  It sucks every good thing out and self-loathing and doubt ooze in like the hazard materials they are.  This young man, who I will call “C,” was in my hometown one day, August 16th to be exact.  He was attempting to get back home for an event in his hometown.  He had been having thoughts of suicide.  He had full intentions of making it a reality.  Again, heart is always broken when I hear that.  He saw a sign…a literal sign.  That sign had three little words scribbled in permanent marker on it.  I was holding that sign because I felt that it was important to be obedient to God’s will that was put on my heart just a few days before.

God woke me up on August 14th, 2014 and told me to go let people know that they matter.  I had zero idea what that meant.  But, I knew that it was important that I do what I was being so lovingly guided to do.  What it boiled down to was my cousin and I making signs that had encouraging, loving messages on them.  We stood on street corners in some of the busiest parts of town because that’s what I was told we should do.  My cousin never questioned anything I told him, and he didn’t look at me like I had lost my mind.  He knew that when I told him this was from and about God, it was just something that had to be done.  So, it was done.  It was done on a daily basis for a time.  We never knew the impact those signs had until much later.

So, back to this young man.  He saw my sign as he was headed out of town back to his home.  When he got back home, he told people what had happened in seeing my sign and what he had been feeling.  He shared that he was free from those horrible feelings.  While his uncle had told me this over the phone, I had chills, and I had tears.  I was so grateful that this young man was still alive.  I was/am grateful that he listened to God tell him that he was important.  That was the message I had on my sign, “You Are Important.”  No, I am not calling myself God.  But, that WAS God’s message.  C got to share that message with a group of people when he got back home.

Tomorrow evening, April 27, 2016, I get the blessed opportunity to meet C, his uncle, and other family members.  I cannot express the gratitude I feel regarding that.  My heart is full and overflowing with God’s goodness.

None of that happened by chance.  It was supposed to happen just when it did.  I think about what would have been had I not been obedient to God’s will.  That young man could be dead.  Many others could be dead as well.  I give all the glory to God.  I never thought that I’d be anybody saving anybody’s life.  That was just not my plan.  It was God’s plan, however.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that I have lost my mind and there is no God.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “I have never heard or felt God like that.”  Maybe you’re in full belief of everything I am telling you.  I don’t know.  I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that God would use me like He does.  Who was I that He would choose me??

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.’

The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’  – Exodus 4:10-13

I was feeling like Moses.  Who am I that He would call on me?  God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.  We, as the called, have to answer.  If we let that call go to voice mail because we are “too busy” or “just being stubborn,” who dies?  Who dies when we refuse to do a simple request from God?  Maybe it’s us who die.  Maybe it’s a teenage kid who has lost all hope.  Maybe nobody dies, but maybe somebody misses out on a really good message because we are drowning in selfishness.  We have to answer that call.  HAVE TO.  God directs my path even today regarding that sign.  He has always told me where to stand and when.  He directs the amount of time I stand on any given corner.  I listen.  I obey like I have never done in my entire life.  I believe like I have never done in my life.  I have faith like I have never had in my life.  That sign didn’t just save C.  It saved me as well on so many levels.

I can’t wait to meet these people and give them the biggest hugs ever.  I know that God will be working in that meeting.  He’s working now.  He’ll be working when it’s over, and I am grateful.  I am blessed, and I get the opportunity to share those given blessings with others!  I am beyond fortunate.  My heart continues to be full.

May God bless you today and always.  Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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One Last Breath

On November 26, 2014, I was witness to something that I’m certainly not forgetting soon. I was witness to a woman taking her final breath.

I did not know this woman. I did not know her family. A young man ran into the doctor’s office waiting room and yelled that help was needed. Nobody moved, however. I got up and ran out there because I know CPR, and I knew that if I had to use it, I would and could. As I ran out of the waiting room, I turned the corner into the small, cold lobby and saw that older lady exhale one last time. Her daughter was in the arms of her husband, face buried in his chest sobbing. I am fairly sure that she did not know that her mother had yet passed. It was more of a scared, shocked cry. I stood there in frozen shock. I could not move. Medical personnel finally came out screaming to call 911. Nobody else in the small area did. I yelled that I would, and I did. It happened so quickly. All of it. The daughter and son-in-law went into the waiting room to make phone calls. I remained inside the lobby for whatever reason. Again, frozen in shock.

I was asked by a member of the doctor’s office if I was waiting to see the doctor. I nodded and quietly answered, “yes.” She excused me from the lobby and said I could go inside waiting room and wait. It seemed forever for the ambulance to come. Everything seemed in slow motion from that very second it began. As I sat in the waiting room, I had tears streaming from my eyes. I knew she was dead. Again, I also really believed the daughter was not 100% sure. The medical personnel called the daughter and son-in-law back into the lobby after working on this unknown woman. The double doors opened, and I heard the wailing of reality for that daughter. I cried harder. The daughter had become fully aware that she would not have her mother for Thanksgiving that very next day.

Wailing. Wailing. Wailing.

May that woman rest in peace.

Since that moment, I have had many replays of that moment in my head as if it has been looped to repeatedly play.

I have been thinking a lot about life and death since this most recent experience. I was hit with great reality right in the face that at any split second our spirits could be released from our bodies. Our bodies could become limp before a next breath could be taken. It scared me, at first. My thoughts turned to how precious life really is. We are so not promised that next breath that we assume we will possess until we are quite old.

I started thinking about my own life and how it has been a wild roller coaster ride for the past 46 years. What I have learned is that it is not about me. What I have learned is that my life becomes fuller as I become “lesser.” I am hardly so outside of myself that I do not have moments of selfishness. I am not proud of that, but I also understand that I am human. I do understand, however, that my life is more about what I want. It is more about what I believe I need.

I have also had experiences this past week where a friend has wanted to give up. To not exist any longer. I did what I thought I was spiritually commanded to do. I helped him as much as I could. I was afraid. I could not imagine him dying without knowing that he is loved, cared about, important. Other friends and I made sure that he was fully aware of those things.

At the moment, he is safe. He made that choice. I am so grateful.

We do not always have that choice, though.

Before we take our last breaths, we need to take care of our words. We need to take care of our souls. We need to take care of those who will be left behind when our times come. We are responsible for loving others. We are responsible for loving ourselves so that we CAN love others. I am not saying we are responsible for what anyone else does with that love. We were given hearts and souls so that others could experience them.

How do you want to share your heart and soul with others? It really only takes a simple act or gesture. It does not have to be spectacular. I say this with confident knowledge. When you take your one last breath, will you have done everything you could have to love people? To let people know that they have worth? It is not too late to start.

God has a plan for you. For me. For all of us. We may never understand it, but I believe there is a plan.

May God bless you.

You are loved!

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Homelessness

Up until a very few years ago, I saw homeless people as ones who deserved to be homeless for one reason or another.  I instantly imagined that they must have done the very worst anyone could do to not have a home.  I felt nothing for them.  There was no pity for them at all.  Feelings of shame could rock me to the very core, but I do know that, at that time in my life, I was ignorant of so much.

Today, as I sit here and type this blog post for whomever to read, I want you to know that I am not as ignorant as I once was.  What I know now is that hard times can fall on anyone, at any moment in time.  I could be homeless next month.  Next week.  You could be, too.

Some causes and reasons for homelessness include those that can be read here.

I know there are people who mess up all on their own, and they mess up on purpose.  With that being said, I have to understand that those people also need help.  What is wrong with those who purposely sabotage or destroy their lives to the point of homelessness?  I don’t have the answer to that question, but I do know that something is terribly wrong.

I had an encounter with a homeless man yesterday, and he warmed my heart.  He didn’t beg me for anything.  As I talked with him, I began to gain a respect for him.  He talked about having God’s “good grace on me.”  That threw me for a loop.  Even more, he stated, “I pray that you have abundant blessings.”  Ummm…can you say choked up?  Here is a man who has no guaranteed shelter over his head on a daily basis, in dirty layered-on clothes, and with what seems to be everything he owns in a backpack praying that I have abundant blessings.  I almost just typed, “What is wrong with this picture?”.  But, I think the more appropriate question is, “What is right with this picture?”.

This man talks of having God’s “good grace,” yet he lives on the streets, eats whatever he can from wherever, and he wears dirty, smelly clothes every single day and night.

Perspective.

I couldn’t stop shaking his hand and smiling.  I just wanted to spend the whole day speaking with him. Because someone looks less fortunate than we do, we have a tendency to feel sorry for them or talk poorly against them.  What if they look at those who have and feel sorry for or talk poorly against them?  What if we who have are really the less fortunate?  What if we are less fortunate because we don’t feel (or recognize ourselves) as blessed or graced as this homeless man does?  That would be a horrific shame, wouldn’t it?

Here’s something to think about.  All of us who believe heaven is home are essentially homeless.  If heaven is home, and I believe it is, are we any better than those walking the streets looking for a roof over their heads or food in their mouths?  Are we really any better off? Are we to consider ourselves better people because we have a job, a car, a place to lay our heads every night?

Be grateful.  Be thankful.  Be joyful.

Love with all of your heart.  Give what you can.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” — Matthew 25:40

You could be “the least of these” at any given second.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Labor Day Week

To begin, I’m praying for God’s guidance as I type what I’m about to type.  I pray for comfort and peace for those about to read this.

On Labor Day, 1974 (give or take a year), my father said he had to take a call from work, which at the time was with AAA driving a tow truck.  I went with him on his call.  I do not remember there being an action of work from him.  What I do remember is a vivid, vulgar display of actions that my father perpetrated against me.  I remember being so afraid.  I also remember going home and acting like nothing had ever happened.  I dread every Labor Day.

I dreaded yesterday.  I had been doing well for the last couple of years regarding Labor Day.  However, new information that I obtained about my father several days before began to flood my thoughts.   I had not worked a “hot” holiday for work this year, so I had to work for a couple of hours, yesterday.  I met with a man who asked to speak to me specifically.  For those reading this who do not already know, I work in a psychiatric hospital.  I was listening to this man speak, and he during our time together, he spoke of being a registered sex offender due to molesting his own daughter.  “REALLY?!?!?!  TODAY, I HAD TO HEAR THIS?!?!?!,”  was my thought.  I froze up.  I went numb.  I’m pretty sure I dissociated for a split second.  I stayed professional.  I stayed ethical.  I prayed that God would take care of me during this time because I was too weak to do it myself.  I had a big hatchet wound busted wide open, and all I could do was cover it with a tiny Band-Aid.   God carried me through, yesterday.  He continues to do so, today.  I wanted to scream, cry, and crawl into a dark corner and be left alone.   I was afraid of a memory.  I was afraid of myself.  I prayed.  Hard.  Writing this, a scripture comes to my mind.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. — 2 Timothy 1:7

Yesterday, I was put to a test.  Satan intended to bury me under fear, shame, and guilt.  I resisted Satan.  I fought him wearing God’s armor.  I was victorious in the name of Jesus!

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d]16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e]17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6: 13 – 18

This is how my week started.  Here is what I have left to face this week.

My youngest daughter, 19, is moving out at the end of the week.  Empty nest is already hitting me hard.  I have been a mother for 21 years.  That has been my primary job on this earth.  I raised my daughters to be independent, strong, and thriving women.  They are.  What was I thinking?!?!  When my oldest moved out, it tore my heart to shreds.  She moved so far away.  I thought it was going to kill me.  It took a long time for me not to cry when she would come visit and leave again.  This time, I’m facing the whole empty nest situation.  While my youngest is not moving 8 hours away, there will be an emptiness in my home.  In my heart.  She and I have had so much fun just hanging out together late at night and watching movies that made us laugh.  We would go driving around and just be silly.  We have done “just be silly” the best.  I will miss her not being in the house.  On the bright side, however, my husband and I get to start our life not having to raise children.  We have been blessed by the most loving daughters anyone could ever ask for.  Seeing our youngest leave, we will feel a sadness as it brings closure to what has been the majority of our lives.  We have raised her to leave the house.  We have raised her to be strong and independent.  We have done our job.  I can look forward to the rest of my life with my husband as we begin to grow in each other.  It does not make the empty nest event less sad or difficult, but it helps make the future look so inviting.  My husband and I can focus on being great parents to our adult children and being really great grandparents to our grandchildren.  This is what happens in life.  This is the order of things.  I am abundantly blessed by these gifts from God.  I pray my children turn to God for all their needs, concerns, and fears.  I pray that they practice thanksgiving everyday for what God has given them. 

I thank God for all of my experiences this week.  This life.  He entrusted me with more than I ever thought I could handle.  Yeah, He did not ask me if I wanted to be faced with all of my life events.  He simply gave them to me knowing what would happen.  Thank you, Father.

P.S.  My yesterday was brightened by time spent with my grandson.  There is always something better on the other side of “yuck”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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