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He Goes Before Me

29 Aug

On my good days, when the world seems so right. On my difficult days when nothing seems to go right. On happy days that make my spirit soar, and on days when I am down and wishing moments could last just a little longer…God is here. 

He surrounds me. He lifts me up. He holds me close. 

The Lion of Judah, fights for me. The Lamb of God laid down Himself for me. The Ancient of Days, knows me. The King, sees me, His child. Whether I am happy or sad, feeling blessed or melancholy….. He loves me. 

And that, for me, is always enough. 

Life will never be easy. There will be ups and downs, accomplishments and disappointments, but through it all, is my security in Him. The One who never leaves me.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

 

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Good Byes Are Hard…They Just Are

27 Aug

The pregnancy test was positive. I stared at the stick for a full minute. Blinked. Looked at it again. Yes, it still read positive. I had never been so excited in all my life. I was going to be a mom! The months leading up to his birth were good ones. I started a journal for him, before he even made his appearance. He was my son even before I knew his face. My first born. My only born. My dear, sweet child.

The years passed, and he grew from a baby, to a toddler, to a preschooler, to school age. Each year brought new and exciting changes. I felt blessed in motherhood. This little boy taught me so much about life, and love. Lessons that only come from the hard work and grit of being a parent. When you are “in the trenches” of mommy hood, your perspective changes.

He was four when his daddy was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. The whole year after he turned four, he stayed home with his daddy. They hung out, they played, they made memories. A year can seem like a long wait, or a painfully short time when you know a good-bye is looming on the horizon.

Kindergarten started in the fall of 2000. Our bright faced, cute as a button, little guy was stepping out into his academic life. He loved, and continues to love, people. It is just his personality, he makes friends wherever he goes. I consider that a gift from God. Only two and a half months into this new chapter of his young life, his father passed away. It is hard to lose a parent at any time, but at such a young age it is difficult to process. That chilly November day was both the beginning and the end of a way of life for us all.

It was just my son and me. We were close, we had each other. I watched him grow, and learn and enjoy life. I saw him in moods, grumping around the house. We had our good days and our bad days as any family does.

Five years passed and I remarried to a wonderful man, who loves me and loves my son. More life changes….home schooling, moving out of state, meeting new people, making new friends, learning and working hard. I watched him grow and mature, often times, well beyond his years. His relationship with the Lord grew stronger. He is no longer my little boy, but now a young man. He has done many things in his young life, that I am proud of. My heart knows what it is to love beyond mere words.

Tomorrow I will drive away, and leave him. He is opening his life up to a new chapter. While away at college, he will grow and learn in his own way, on his own time. He will laugh, and love, and learn how to persevere. He will see the good, the bad, and the ugly. He will be proud of himself, and maybe sometimes feel like a failure. All these things will shape him for his journey. It is going to be difficult for this mama, not because I want to keep him with me forever, I don’t. It is just that good-byes are always hard. They just are.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV

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The Gift Of Time

25 Aug

I had my annual doctor appointment today. I, like most, dread going to see the doctor. I like my doctor, I just don’t like the entire concept of having to see him. Blood drawn. Labs completed. Blood pressure taken. The normal stuff for me. Evidently, meeting with my physician at 8:20 on a Monday morning is a good thing. The day started just a few minutes earlier, so he is not behind in seeing patients and I have his undivided attention… which is often rare in today’s healthcare. 

Basically, I am healthy. Everything is good…and I am so thankful. 

Unfortunately, I know many people who are not in good health. It is so hard. 

Some are fighting heart problems, or cancer, or Alzheimers. Good health is a valuable thing, and one most of us take for granted until we find ourselves in the middle of something. I can do everything I possibly can to maintain my health. Eat right. Exercise. Laugh a lot. 

But, ultimately my life is in God’s hands. It always has been, from the moment He lovingly created me in my mother’s womb, to the day He calls me home…..my time is already written down. He alone knows how many days I have. 

May I never be cavalier with the time I have been gifted. 

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.… Psalm 139:13-14 

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16 ESV

 

 

 

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Today I am thankful for: 

* my doctor’s appointment went well

* my good health

* spending time with my son

* a quiet afternoon

* friends who give me support and encouragement

* ripe berries and sticky sweetness

* llamas loose in the front yard

* selfies of my dogs

* re-reading One Thousand Gifts, and my heart pouring out all over again

* meeting people where they are at

* mail in the mailbox

* love, that I get…and that I give

* God, who gifts me with every day

The Messiness Of Life

23 Aug

Life is messy, both literally and figuratively.

Don’t we all know it? We feel it in the every day.

There are boxes on the floor in the dining room, serious packing has commenced for my soon-to-be college student, son. I concentrate on the checking off of all the items to take to school…trying not to think about him being gone in a few short days. The cat puked in the food dish. Again. The new dog dragged the deck furniture cushions into the (muddy) yard. I tell myself, they can be washed. And they can. It is not the end of the world. The flowerbed is dug up, there are muddy paw prints, and the horse stall needs finished mucking.

Messiness, all around. I don’t know if it is just my age, or what, but I am dealing with the messiness of life better than I used to……well, at least I try. 

Relationships are changing. Scheduling and busyness. Some days go by, or even weeks, in a blur. So much is going on. Friends that need me, decisions being made, people to pray for, growing pains and letting go. I am embracing the moments, messiness and all. 

Messiness can be marvelous. Messiness can be chaotic. Messiness can be a life well lived.

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Choices Made

21 Aug

The day is gray and overcast, there is the slightest glow from sun that is hidden. I am pushing the vacuum cleaner across the rug, fluffing sofa pillows, sweeping the floor. Daily chores, things that I do every day. I think about my choices as I go about the mundane tasks of the morning. Choices I have made, this life I now live.  I make my way to the kitchen and put the yogurt and fruit into the blender, soon the blue -purple of the berries stain the yogurt with color and sweetness. Little things, really. Routine moments of life.

Each day decisions are made. Small, seemingly insignificant, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Isn’t life made up of all the small decisions? One decision leads to another….this choice puts me at another place. Life truly is made up of a million in the everyday.

Nothing big happens all at once, it is usually the daily choices that culminate in the difference.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

 

 

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Hopeful And Excited

19 Aug

As the summer winds down and school begins, life seems fresh with opportunities.

This time of the year feels more new to me than the ball dropping in Times Square on an early January morning.

The world is ripe with possibilities, bright, like the soon-to-be colors of the autumn leaves.

I am sitting here mulling over what lies ahead. Hopeful and excited.

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A Daily Altar

18 Aug

The list continues to grow. The more life presses in, the more I write. The minutiae of the every day becomes an altar to the God who gives abundantly. Thanking Him for each of the moments, allows me to really see them. It would be so easy to let myself go and be caught up in the white water of daily urgency…being pulled under by the “must get it done”. Seeing God’s gifts, slows down time, and it slows down me

I had this exact thought the other day, when I found myself caught up in my to do list. Urgency is a thief and steals the joy from today. I made myself stop and be in the moment. Breathe deeply and savor. God is here in the every day. His handprint is on it all. 

 

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Today I am thankful, so very thankful….

*early morning fog and dew, outlines spider webs in the field, intricate patterns of nature’s art

*my pets greeting me with pure, sloppy, love…and a ripped open bag of charcoal briquettes scattered all over the deck. 

*food in the fridge, an egg salad wrap for breakfast

*good news from a friend, prayers answered

*sunshine and a cool morning breeze

*son packing for college, God’s provision in action

*beautiful pictures of daughter, memories of this time in life

*first week completed of new job for oldest son, thank you God

*husband who looks so handsome and loves me, and who I am privileged to call my own

*wide open sky, and a yard that is part meadow….dragon flies buzzing, along with bees and birds

*the chance to touch the lives of other families…using my degree for His glory

*prospect of a ladies group, all together giving thanks for the gifts

*saying good-bye to sugar cravings and losing weight and improving my blood pressure

*porch swings

*family emails and the latest news

*songs and music that touch the soul

*beauty….there is so much beauty in life

Thank you God, for all your gifts! I am overwhelmed by each of them. Practicing, always practicing the thanks…..preparing, much like a marathon runner. Exercising my thank you’s for the rough times, as I know they will come, when the thanking comes hard. Running the race, and not giving up. Knowing that God is faithful.

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