Our pastor spoke of it yesterday in his sermon and tears pricked my eyes at the confirmation of what my heart has known all along.
As a result of blogging, Jesus has become a "part" of my life. Now to be real honest, blogging is not the only reason for this transformation, and blogging is not the only area in which I need change. Many other areas are going to be affected by the decisions I am making, and I pray God will be glorified in their midst. He is calling me to a higher level of obedience, and that means pruning in many areas.
Yet, what is most important here comes directly from the sermon I heard yesterday,
"Either God is my life or not in my life. He CANNOT be a big part of my life."
He wants an all or nothing commitment.
In order for me to give Him that, I must walk away from some things that have been standing in His way. Blogging is one of them. It has consistently gotten in the way of my focus on the Lord, my focus on my family, and my focus on my marriage. It has taken me away from things I love, like reading, writing (interestingly enough), and being outside. I have tried to strike a balance, and I haven't been successful at that. I've known for a very long time that it might come to this, and to be real honest I am ready and finally relieved to be doing what I know is right for me at this time.
So, in order to be more of what Jesus wants for me, I must walk away . . . at least for awhile -- maybe forever. I tried this before and failed. This time, for the sake of my family and living my life rather than simply reading about others' lives -- I need to succeed.
I have thoroughly enjoyed "meeting" so many of you. I won't be disappearing altogether, but I am heading off to a place where blogging will take a back seat behind what God has purposed for me each day.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity." Jeremiah 29: 11-14a
Thank y'all for the support you have shown in the past. Thank you for taking interest in the life of one such as me. Thank you for praying and for humoring me by coming by to see how God fills up my tank each week. I haven't decided whether I will still post a Thanks Tank each week or not, but know that whether it is posted or not I will be writing it down in my prayer journal . . . as soon as I unearth it from the dust bunnies that have claimed it these last months.
My hope for all of you is that you will walk forward "without fear", knowing that each minute you are here is a gift from God.
"All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required."
---- Dave Barry
Prayer is powerful and one step of faith can change everything. Take your step . . . now!
April 18, 2007
Just one step of faith, that's all it took. Just one step of faith.
Yesterday my cell phone rang in the middle of the day. It was my daughter Laura. Nothing unusual about that.
What was unusual about the call was that my normally upbeat, positive daughter (a senior, just a month away from graduating from college) was down, and in a "funk."
All because of the Virginia Tech massacre on Monday morning.
She wanted to do something.
As we talked, I read Laura a portion of the words from President Bush's address at the special service held at Virginia Tech on the day after the shootings. In his message the President quoted Romans 12:21:
"These sources of strength are also in the faith that sustains so many of us. Across the town of Blacksburg and in towns all across America, houses of worship from every faith have opened their doors and have lifted you up in prayer. People who have never met you are praying for you; they're praying for your friends who have fallen and who are injured. There's a power in these prayers, real power. In times like this, we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God. As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.'"
In our conversation I encouraged Laura to turn her grief heavenward and pray for those who have been impacted by evil.
Then I re-read Romans 12:21 to her: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Laura replied, "But I'm just a college student, what could I do? I live off campus. I'm not in a dorm or sorority house on campus. What can I do?"
Reflecting on Laura's response, I think that most of us feel that way … I'm just a dad … or a mom … what can I do? The enemy of our souls loves it when we think this way. Doubt gives way to unbelief and ultimately results in paralysis. I'm reminded of British statesman Edmund Burke's warning, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
But a follower of Jesus Christ is more than "just" a college student, a dad, a mom. God made us to be children of the King who are empowered by Him to push back against the forces of evil that seek to destroy us and take away our hope.
The Scripture gives us resolute purpose: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
I then challenged Laura to take the lead with a few student leaders on campus to join with her and organize a campus-wide prayer meeting Thursday for the Virginia Tech students, faculty and families.
There was silence on the phone.
After a few moments, my adventuresome, "go for it" daughter, Laura, declared, "I got it! I'm on it! I'll do it!"
I had a few more words of encouragement and we said goodbye. I concluded by asking her to keep me posted on what was going on.
Ten minutes later I was in a meeting and my cell phone rang. It was Laura. She had contacted her friend Ben, a fired-up Christ follower, as well as student leaders of various campus ministries. They all were "on it!" The campus-wide prayer meeting was scheduled at an outdoor amphitheater on campus for Thursday at 7 p.m. I told her how excited I was for her and the other students.
I jumped back in to my meeting and another ten minutes later the phone rang again. This time Laura told me that she had just sent the following e-mail to 12 student leaders on campuses across the country who are participating in an internship with her at The Falls Church in Falls Church, Va., beginning this fall:
All across the country students are feeling sad about the loss of life at Virginia Tech, and also thinking that it could have been me. I know I have thought that a couple of times while on campus today. I know that all of us have been and are praying for the students and families of Virginia Tech. I have called several of my friends and we are getting together on Thursday night at 7:00 to have a time of prayer for the students, families, faculty, and everyone that has been affected because of this tragedy. I just wanted to throw this out there to see if you all would get together with your friends and fellow students, on your campus and pray together on Thursday. Our God is powerful and He can and will turn this evil into good!
I responded with a "Wow" and told Laura, "You go, girl!"
In the midst of all this, I thought of my friend and comrade, Mark Gauthier, the national director of the Campus Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ. So I wrote him and shared with him what Laura and students were doing on her campus.
Mark was pumped! So pumped that last night he sent an e-mail out to four thousand full time staff and student leaders on more than a thousand campuses here in the U.S. and even more in over 100 countries of the world.
By 8 a.m. today, Mark's inbox had over 200 responses from campus leaders all over the world, saying they will be calling for a campus-wide Call to Prayer for Virginia Tech. In fact, I was just told that the e-mails are streaming in so fast they can't keep up. Spiritually and virally, this thing has taken off with responses from London, East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and even North Africa (where three Virginia Tech grads lead the ministry). Many more will join.
Another group of college students who use Facebook online have responded by establishing a Facebook group to pray for Virginia Tech. Somehow mother's groups and churches have received the e-mail and they are calling for prayer. And another e-mail was sent to the leaders of other national campus ministry groups (Navigators, Intervarsity, Impact, etc.) inviting them to lead and call their students to prayer tomorrow. Bill Pugh, national director of Athletes in Action, has written his leaders on several hundred campuses and many of those will be rallying students on their campus to pray.
I started forwarding e-mails to Laura this morning from all over the world and I just got off the phone with her. I told her how proud I was of her for taking one step of faith and saying "I'll do it!" I told her that her step of faith helped create something much bigger than anything we would have imagined. All she could say was "Wow! God is indeed powerful."
As I write this, I am about to go into the studio to tell the story on our broadcast tomorrow and challenge several hundred thousand moms and dad, husbands and wives, and singles to join with us. I also decided to send this letter out to you, along with more than 165,000 stakeholders in FamilyLife all around the world, encouraging you and your family to join in the Call to Prayer. And take a step of faith and challenge at least one other person to do the same:
- Pray for the families and friends of students who were killed—that they would turn to God for His comfort and strength. Four of the students were involved with Campus Crusade at Virginia Tech.
- Pray for the survivors of the shootings who witnessed the horrors of that day. Pray for God's grace and comfort.
- Pray for wisdom for the Campus Crusade staff and other campus ministers and pastors as they seek to counsel and love the hurting students.
Find information about the tragedy and updates on how you can pray at Campus Crusade for Christ’s website dedicated to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. If you have any children in college, call and challenge them to organize a Call to Prayer for Virginia Tech tomorrow. Send them this e-mail. They'll know how to get more information on Facebook.
And if you are unable to get a group together to pray, just pray where you are. Prayer is portable—you can join the movement tomorrow at lunch or at the dinner table with your family. But pray.
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Go today! Go today to BooMama's! Don't forget. You can make a difference for an entire family. You can make a difference for more than that. You can make a difference in the direction of many a person's life, just by taking part in something bigger than yourself.
Nothing crosses my mind right now without going through the "Heather" lens. All that I've been doing since the middle of last week has been viewed with Heather in mind. I mentioned her in a prayer request last week, and in the days since I have been praying for her each time God brings her to mind--which is frequently.
Go here to read up on the details of her situation. Read today's entry. I pray you'll be blessed. I know I was inspired and encouraged . . . all at a time when I have expected nothing from Heather. I go to encourage her, let her know I am continuing to pray, and I come away with a blessing from her faith in our loving and powerful God.
You'll notice the lovely button adorning this post. Click on it, or go to BooMama's for the details, but suffice it to say that you will have an opportunity to be a part of blessing Heather, her husband, Mark, and their family this Wednesday. BooMama is hosting the showering of love April 18, and you can be a part by joining all of us to defray some of the enormous costs facing this dear family during this tragic and difficult time. Give as little as $1 or give a lot, or simply assure Heather of your continued prayers.
Thanks y'all! I know I can count on all of you who grace this blogland to pray and to rally around this precious family!
UPDATE~~~ You can also join in a contest to benefit Heather as well, by heading over to Beth's at I Should Be Folding Laundry. She has a great idea going, and you'll be glad you ran on over! Linking arms with others all over the internet . . . we can surely have an impact.
Don Miguel Ruiz
***Not sure if this will be a regular feature here at Without Fear, but I am percolating on it. Watch for future "Fearless Friday" posts in the future!
Labels: fearless friday
~~~~Wanted to update y'all on the reason for the Urgent Prayer request last week. Destiny's funeral was held Saturday. Unfortunately we were not aware of the fact until after its completion. So, my husband was not able to attend. When my DP returned to school Monday he had several opportunities to discuss some things with his students: Destiny, suicide, the importance of getting in touch with someone if you need to talk, and how life is valuable.
My DP, like many others vocalized, wondered what he could have done to help prevent Destiny's final outcome. He, like many others, wondered what he missed, if anything. None of us will know this side of heaven. Yet, I continue to pray for that family, for the middle school age brother, the three-year-old sister, and the parents who will never hold their daughter again in their arms. I pray for their salvation. I pray for comfort. I pray especially for a freedom one day from the pain of a loss so immense.
Thank you for your prayers! You are all so incredible.
Now for the Thanks . . .
1. Free Gifts -- I won this at Boomama's place, and I absolutely love it! I'd write a review about it, but both Boo and GiBee have done such a wonderful job that I feel like I'd just be redundant in my effusive praise. Goodness knows I'm in no need of redundancy. My life is unexciting enough!
2. Baskets -- I am in an unusual mode of wanting to get organized, so I have a stack of baskets I found at a popular discount establishment awaiting my rusty organizing skills in order to make my crafting area more functional. I might take a picture of it and post it on a Wednesday once I actually make it "work for me."
3. Jammie Day -- Yes, my children are not toddlers anymore, but sometimes you just need one of these. I joined in the fun, and I so needed it too.
4. Memorizing Scripture to Music -- I forgot how much I enjoy this. We replaced a copy of this for our kids as an addition to an Easter basket this year. I love both of the "Hide 'Em In Your Heart" volumes.
5. Church -- I can honestly say for the first time since we moved last July that I am truly thankful for the body of believers in which we've been placed. I hesitate to add, I am beginning to (gasp) feel a bit at home here!
6. Choir -- For the first time since my single days, I am joining the choir. I've been part of a small worship team over the years, but I've not sung in a group this large since 1993. Next week is my first rehearsal, and I am a bit nervous . . . feels like the voice is a bit rusty. It is "make a joyful noise, isn't it?"
7. Cuddling -- My JD Green is the master at this, and I started my day yesterday with my little one snuggled up against my side giggling while his daddy tried to be outraged as he left the house for work. My little man makes me feel so special sometimes.
8. Hope -- Just when I thought our adoption journey may never have a beginning, let alone an end with our daughter in our arms -- God brings a multitude of reasons across my path to give me a renewed sense of hope and encouragement that one day our turn will come. I will NOT lose heart!
9. Library -- a place I find quiet, peace, and my favorite of all . . . lots of books! We thoroughly enjoyed our experience there yesterday. Thanks, too, to our new friend, Miss Jeanne.
10. Pain-free moments -- few and far between though they may be lately, I am grateful for every, single one that allows me to accomplish the tasks set before me each and every day. Jesus knows my pain, and He gives me reprieve as He sees fit. I am utterly grateful to Him for all He provides.
Please share your blessings with someone today. I would dearly love to know how God has blessed you, but if you don't feel like writing them down -- go tell someone and bless them in the process of sharing your own blessings! God is good ALL the time . . .
JD Green: "I've never been baptized, and I'm a Christian!"
Mama: Well, why would you want to be baptized, JD?
JD: Well, I know how to swim, so if he let me go -- I'd be OK!"
I think we've got a little explaining to do before John Deere Green is ready to take that all-important plunge.
Resurrection!1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."
3-10Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
11-13But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been laid. They said to her, "Woman, why do you weep?"
13-14"They took my Master," she said, "and I don't know where they put him." After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize him.
15Jesus spoke to her, "Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?"
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him."
16Jesus said, "Mary."
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" meaning "Teacher!"
17Jesus said, "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'"
18Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: "I saw the Master!" And she told them everything he said to her.
To Believe19-20Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.
20-21The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."
22-23Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"
24-25But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master."
But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."
26Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."
27Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."
28Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"
29Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."
30-31Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it."
HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!!
So, I'll let this do the work for me. Go here and watch the video called Sunday's Comin'. It is powerful. It is better than anything I did or could have written.
Then go visit the people on my Kindred Spirits list to the right of this tiny post. They all have posted some really cool things, especially at My Quiet Corner and at Boomama.
Please keep praying for Destiny's family. My heart has been mindful of them all day, and I have so many thoughts whirling around in my head over what happened to that precious young girl.
I am headed to bed. G'nite and good morning all in one fell swoop!
Oh, before I forget, Five Minutes For Mom is doing the coolest giveaway! It is a little gadget called a Presto. You can give this thingamajig to non-tech-savvy relatives, and use it to send them pictures over the phone and then PRINT them out. I want this thing for my MIL and my mom! GO check out the contest, because someone is going to win it!
My DP is a high school English teacher. He deals with troubled students on a daily basis. This morning he arrived at school to find out one of his 10th grade students had taken her own life last evening. Her name, ironically, was Destiny.
Please pray for DP as he shares his heart with his other students when the time is right. Pray for him to have the right words. Pray for him to communicate as best he can within the parameters of a public school system his values and his perspective on the sanctity of human life.
This student wasn't just one of a myriad of nameless faces. She was someone who had an interest in us and our family. She smiled and waved at us from the bus stop many mornings. We went and purchased ice cream from her at Dairy Queen where she worked part time. We even contemplated letting her baby sit our children. She seemed vivacious and a good student. She had a darling little three-year-old sister and a mama who had to work too hard.
Pray today for her family, for her little sister, who may never understand or remember much about her sister beyond photographs and stories told.
None of us can completely understand the mind of another. My heart aches for what brought this sweet, young girl to the point of despair, with no hope for living another day. All I can say is I want to hold my three a little closer today and ensure that they have hope for each and every day.
For my Thanks Tank #55, scroll on down. It seems a little hollow in light of today's news.
Have you ever just gotten tired of doing good? Have you ever just felt tired of being thankful? Has it ever crossed your mind to be selfish and think . . . I'm in it for me right now? Have you ever shaken your fist at God and said, "I just don't get what You're doin' in my life right now!!"?
If you are honest, deep-down, gut-level honest with yourself . . . only yourself, because your response to me really doesn't matter a hill o' beans. If you are honest with yourself, you will acknowledge that at one time or several times in your speck of a life here on this earth that you have felt entitled to more, needed physical evidence of God's presence more, wanted more to be "thankful" for, and wanted to do less for it all.
We are all human. That's how we're wired. We are all sinners. That's how we were left on this earth -- as sinners in need of a Savior. I mentioned in my "mish mash" that I've been flitting between the camps of "faithful believer" and "faithless pagan" who sees no need for continuing to do good with no immediate, visible reward.
I was commisserating with a friend the other day that if I were not a believer I would have no qualms about my behavior. I would feel no remorse for my bad choices and no need to repent for doing wrong. I threw out the idea of racking up tons of debt, not worrying about leaving this earth with an enormous bill trailing me to the grave. I was whining -- big time. I was wrong -- big time.
Just like always, when I get wrapped up in my needs, my desires, my wants, my lack of, my disappointment, my discouragement . . . let's call it what it really is -- MYSELF -- just like always, when I search Scripture -- God has His perspective for my little pity party.
Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
I reap what I sow. When I am ungrateful and gripy toward what I don't have and what I don't get, and what is hard to bear, I am reaping destruction -- maybe not for eternity, but certainly in the here and now.
Verse 9 says not to become weary in doing good. I've found myself quite weary lately. I've found my friends to be weary, too. The verse goes on to say that at the "proper time" we will reap the harvest. It doesn't say in a week's time. It doesn't say after a month. It doesn't say after three years of suffering, then you will reap. It says, "at the proper time". God determines that proper time just as He knew the exact time you would come to Him in salvation. He knows what the proper time for the harvest is, and He will not forget you in the meantime.How do we manage in the meantime? How do we get our eyes off of ourselves and our needs, wants, desires, discouragements, disappointments, and struggles? God leaves us with a message for that part, too. He speaks through Paul when he says in verse 10:
" Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
I don't know about you, but I find it terribly difficult to continue to focus completely on MYSELF when I am taking care of the needs of others. I am praying for myself to be more others focused, in order that my eyes be realigned with God's perspective. I am praying for opportunities to present themselves in which I might put the truth of Galatians 6:10 into practice in my life.
One tangible way I can turn my eyes on Him is through gratefulness and authentic thanksgiving. I am thankful this week for:
1. Second, third, and fourth chances: I've actually lost count, but I am so grateful my Jesus forgives me and lets me start fresh and new every day.
2. Rest: What a renewal I find when I have rested well. I am grateful God gives rest to the weary. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
3. Music With Words: I love both kinds, but the words have spoken to me so much lately.
Let God Arise
Hear the holy roar of God resound
Watch the waters part before us now
Come and see what He has done for us
Tell the world of His great love
Our God is a God who saves
Our God is a God who saves
Let God arise
Let God arise
Our God reigns now and forever
He reigns now and forever
His enemies will run for sure
The church will stand, she will endure
He holds the keys of life, our Lord
Death has no sting, no final word
(PRAISE JESUS! THERE IS VICTORY OVER THE GRAVE!)peach's addendum
4. New Life: Yes, I know Easter is all about new life, resurrection, and sins forgiven. I am all about that, but my thanks is even more simplistic. I am just so lovin' all the green around me. I've decided my new favorite color is one God invented . . . Spring Baby Leaf Green. If it doesn't already exist on somebody's paint chip list, it should.
5. Eternity: I've been given a new vision for this real place. I fear not, for I am headed to my home, and I can do whatever my Father says I can do there. It is HOME, where I can finally be all He created me to be. I can kick off my heavenly "shoes" and jump on the heavenly sofa if He says it's ok.
6. My Children: They teach me more every day than I can ever hope to teach them.
7. My precious DP: He hangs in there with me day in and day out, regardless of my moods, my faith, my "rightness" or "wrongness" in any situation. He loves me, and I am so thankful.
8. Glory: I see God's glory displayed everywhere I look, from the ant hill to the majestic oak to the crying child who needs a forever family. He has made it all. Glory be to Him alone!!
9. Criticism: Not usuallly welcome at first, yet when I've had a chance to mull it over -- necessary and useful for growth and maturity on all levels. Thanks.
10. Resurrection Power: How awesome is our God! The same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us each and every day. He is worthy to be praised!!
Now, I know this was a long post today. If you managed to make it to the end, I salute you and ask you to go thank the Lord today for the ways He has blessed you. Take it to your site or give me a couple examples here in the comments. I would love to hear what God is doing in your heart.
Yet, I desire to be firm, to hold fast to my convictions, to finally feel able to have others follow the Jesus in me. I barely feel like I am making any head way in this journey much of the time, though I pray, I read, and I regularly meet with other believers on the path with me.
Our pastor spoke on heaven last night, and he asked at the beginning of his message how many of us were ready to go there right now. A smattering of hands shot up, but more of us were in the next group, "How many of you want to go to heaven some day, just not. right. now?"
That is me all the way. I remember when I had to do the biopsy thing back in Feb. My first thought when I contemplated my mortality was . . . not yet, God. NOT YET!! Why is it that I am so not ready to go to my eternal home, though I know it will be more than I could ever hope or imagine? I want to be with my Father, because I know He is waiting for me. Yet, I can't loosen my grasp on the temporal things in front of me.
Now, I don't mean that I am some material girl who can't let go of all the "things" that I consider treasures here on earth. Very little I own or possess fits into that category at all. I think I've learned via parenthood to hold my "valuables" quite loosely. I've found true joy and fulfillment in the "treasures" that have no monetary value whatsoever. These are a few:
I could go on and on, but I hope this paints a bit of a picture of why I struggle with wanting to be with these dear ones and leaving for eternity with my Father in heaven. I want to be with Him, but I can't imagine my life any differently than what is before me day in and day out. The rewards of heaven are but a filmy mist in light of the reality of today.
- The twinkling eyes of my JD Green when he sees me first thing in the morning
- The sound of my DP's voice when he begins the day, comes home from work, or tells me I am beautiful . . . just one more time.
- The unabashed, uninhibited laughter of my Sweetcheeks when she is fully enjoying God's creation around her.
- The cackling of my Libbyline when she has clued into a new "funny" to her.
- The newfound grace with which Libbyline moves now that she's taken dance.
- The tenderness found in the mundane routine of bed time, snuggling, praying and sharing from the heart.
I watched Elizabeth Edwards interviewed tonight, and I was in tears over her words regarding her cancer and her relationship to her children. She said that the scariest part of her having cancer is having to someday, sooner than she'd planned, have to "tell these sweet children and unbelieveable man goodbye." I am not in her shoes, but my mama's heart, my wifely heart is linked with hers.
Death is a reality for all of us. One other statement from this interview struck a chord with me:
"Everybody who's sitting at this table who isn't going to die, raise your hand."
So true. It is so simple and yet so complex all at once. My prayer is that I would live my life to the fullest each and every day God gives me. Though I want to go to heaven some day, I still have much to do here on earth. May I be a good steward of the days, redeeming the time. (Ephesians 5:18-20)
I'll leave you with a quote. It spoke to my heart today. I pray it resonates with yours as well.
As Jesus stepped into the garden, you were in His prayers.
As Jesus looked into heaven, you were in His vision . . .
His final prayer was about you. His final pain was for you.
His final passion was you.
1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:45 am or so. That's when my alarm was set.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Garnets or sapphires. I like gems with color!
4. What is your favorite TV show? My absolute favorite has to be Extreme Makeover: Home Editon, but I also like Paula's Party on Food Network.
5. What did you have for breakfast? I had an omelette with cheese and sweet peppers, half a pink grapefruit, and two cups of hazelnut creme coffee.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican all the way. Give me a bowl of chips, a gallon of salsa, and something yummy stuffed with cheese and chicken -- I may not come up for air for at least an hour.
14. What are your favorite clothes? Comfy shirts and capris with my Crocs. I usually wear pink or apple green on top, though chocolate brown has also become a new favorite.
16. Where would you want to retire? Retire, who's going to retire? I plan to follow this motto:
"Life is not a journey to the grave with
the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside,
totally worn out & proclaiming
“Wow, What a Ride!” Author unknown
17. Favorite time of day? Right before sunset. God paints the sky so brilliantly then.
18. Where were you born? in a hospital. No, really. Timken Mercy Hospital in Canton, OH, home of the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
20. Coke or Pepsi? Dr. Pepper
21. Beavers or ducks? What? I'm from OH, remember. How 'bout Go Bucks!
23. Pedicure or manicure? Manicure is easier for me to sit for, but I liked how my toes look after a pedicure.
26. Ever been to Africa? Nope.
27. Ever been toilet papering? Yes, plenty of times, caught only once.
30. Favorite restaurant? Los Portales. Great chips, great salsa, great prices on everything else. Yummy.
32. Favorite ice-cream? Godiva Chocolate Raspberry truffle, or Brusters Toasted Coconut Almond fudge.
34. How many times did you fail your driver's test? one
35. From whom did you get your last e-mail? my aunt
36. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? credit card? I only have a debit card. The debit keeps me from going into debt.
41. How many are you sending this meme to? none
42. What time did you finish this
43. Favorite magazine: Creating Keepsakes or Real Simple. It's a toss up. I also love reading Southern Living.
44. Coffee or tea? Both. It's really a tie between chai and French vanilla coffee. Also a big, big fan of Kona. I am thrilled I found some at T.J. Maxx of all places.
45. Do you tan easily or burn easily? Burn, baby, burn. Pink is my favorite color, but I've spent many summers red.
46. Do you color your hair? If so, how often? I do, about every 8-10 weeks or so, depending on the budget.
47. What was the first car you ever purchased without the help of your parents? A 1989 Ford Tempo named Taylor. Does the term "lemon" mean anything to you?
48. What is your most dreaded household chore? Cleaning bathrooms. Folding laundry.
49. Who do you tag to complete this meme? no one in particular, but I'd love to read some of your answers to these. Let me know if you do it.