Archive by Author

All Stories Have A Beginning

24 Apr

Today’s writing prompt is:  your story

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My Story–Part 1

It is interesting, those things that we remember so vividly from our childhood. The things that we don’t think about very often, but are a part of us, woven into the very fabric of our lives. All stories have a beginning, they all start somewhere. My particular story has me going back to my Mid-Atlantic home state of Maryland. I grew up in a rural county, with rolling hills and farmland, away from the lights and noise of Baltimore and Washington D.C.. Most of my family lived close by and it was not unusual to have frequent family get togethers. Relationships were cemented during those early years. Time spent playing with cousins, going to church, riding my bike, and figuring out school life. Looking back, my school was quite the melting pot. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was nothing to have friends with last names like Slobodnik, Kavalish, Capporola, Modi, or Polignone. The school bus would let me off at the main road. I would walk the half mile back the gravel road that led to home. Funny thing, I remember those walks home as some of the best times. I would sing, pretend to have conversations and practice what I would say, talk to God,  pick wild flowers, stop and watch the clouds in the sky, and occasionally run into a ground hog that was surprised to see me on the road. Those quiet times allowed me the time to breathe and think and just enjoy. To this very day, I thrive when I’m allowed to carve out some quiet time in my otherwise busy schedule.  That is the way I am…the way God made me.

The days turned into years, and into the next stage of my life. The tight grasp on what was familiar, loosened. My path, after graduation, took me far from home…..and, I had no idea what lay ahead. It was probably better that way, the not knowing.

Tomorrow I will tell more of my story……

 

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Incredibly Unique

23 Apr

If you have met one person with autism, then you’ve met ….them all  one person with autism. Anyone who works with, knows, or loves someone with autism, understands that this is true. Just as we are each unique in our own right, the same goes for those on the autism spectrum. Individuals with autism share some basic characteristics, but other than that they are incredibly unique.

April is Autism Awareness month. As someone who has spent many years working with and loving those with autism, I wanted to share some of my posts from years past. It is interesting looking back and reading these posts because so much has changed in a matter of a few short years. What used to be a statistic of 1 in 150 children being on the autism spectrum, is now I think at last check, 1 in 68. (Some even say 1:50) Research needs to continue to uncover the cause of this widespread epidemic. When I was in college in the late 80′s, studying for my special education major, I don’t remember autism even being discussed. If it was, it was not in much detail. Now, twenty-five years later, everyone has heard of autism. What has changed in that short amount of time?

You can read some of my previous posts on autism, here. You can also read here and here.

 

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Don’t Be Left Behind

22 Apr

The movie, Left Behind, will be coming to theatres this Fall. There are some big Hollywood stars in the movie such as, Nicholas Cage, and Chad Michael Murray. I think the star presence will draw crowds to the movie, and my prayer is that while there, the people will hear the truth.

The movie is based on the Left Behind book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I read the entire series years ago. I remember not being able to put the books down, I was so into the story! The thing about these books that makes them so different from other series is that the events mentioned in the books, will happen.

It is like reading a history book that just hasn’t happened yet.

Yes, it is true, that the content of the books is the interpretation of these two authors. The events are fictional in the sense that the characters do not really exist, but the events that are mentioned most definitely WILL happen. Left Behind books are based on the book of Revelation in the Bible.

Those of us that are Christ followers will one day be called home. It will happen quickly, the Bible says “in the twinkling of an eye”. (“In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” I Corinthians 15:52 NIV)  

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 

It will happen quickly. One second we will be here. The next second we will be gone.

 

 

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Gone from our homes, gone from the drivers seat of our cars, gone from airplanes, and grocery stores. Gone from schools, and churches, and gyms. Gone. Radio stations, movie theatres, department stores and gas stations.

 

 

 

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Jesus will take us to be with Him, and we will leave this world behind. Just. Like. That.

Millions will be left behind. Those who scoffed at Jesus in this life. Those who said they’d deal with that “religion” stuff later. Those who heard the Truth, but hardened their hearts to it. Those who thought that they had it all together on their own.

Don’t be cavalier with your time.

Or you might be left behind……

 

 

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Fresh With Possibilities

21 Apr

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A new day has dawned, fresh with possibilities.

I have a crazy amount of stuff to check off my to do list by the end of next month.

There are times when I wonder if it is even possible to get everything done.

It is when life seems the most hurried, that I need to slow down.

I can’t remember to enjoy the moments when I’m running as fast as I can.

Breathe.

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Today I am thankful for: 

* streaming sunshine

* warmer mornings

* Shine FM Ohio

* music that helps me worship

* singing out loud in the kitchen

* a husband who loves the Lord

* a husband that loves me, through everything

* my daughter and her pretty Easter dress

* hugs from my son

* my oldest son making it to church for Easter service

* checking things off the list

* freshly vacuumed rugs

* friends

* my students

* graduation invitations

* our little farm

* grass growing green

* I don’t need to be in Montana to have big sky country

* God who loves me

* Jesus who died for me….and lives again!

Are You Still Living In Friday?

18 Apr

We call it “Good Friday”.

IMG_1197Good in the midst of the awful.

That Friday so many years ago….

the day that Jesus’ followers were heart broken.

They felt abandoned. Alone. Confused by all that had happened.

It was Friday……..

but, Sunday was coming!

Are You Living In Friday?

The most holy, pivotal celebration, to the life of a Christian….Easter.

On that Friday Jesus hung on a rugged, Roman cross

The Savior between two common thieves

He was mocked and insulted

The clouds darkened…

He asked His Father

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The day was full of anguish

and pain.

He cried out

“It is finished!”

The curtain in the temple tore from top to bottom.

The earth shook.

Then He died.

That day was…. Sad. Hopeless. Bleak.

Jesus’ followers did not understand. They were confused. They were grieving. They were hurting.

Wondering.

What did this mean?

What was the purpose?

Don’t so many of us live in “the Friday” of our lives?  Scared. Wondering. Confused.

How is God going to work things out in our lives?

We can’t see it.

We don’t get it.

We won’t live through it.

What is the purpose?

But Jesus did not stay in the grave.

He conquered death.

He rose again.

He appeared too many.

The glorious resurrection day changed everything.

EVERYTHING.

For all time.

FOR US

The followers had…..Hope. Joy. Peace.

Death had been conquered by the only ONE who was capable.

He took our place. He sacrificed. His blood was spilled.

And He came out of that tomb!

Jesus never left us in the darkness of the crucifixion.

Because He lives, we are brought into the

glorious resurrection morning!

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25 NIV

How Is Easter Real To You?

17 Apr

I found this post that I previously wrote about Easter. It is just as true today, as the day that I first wrote it.

Meet us over at White Space, with Bonnie, to blog about Easter and what it means to you.

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

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“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”  John 11:25

How many of us have stood over a casket, looking down at one we loved?

Tears leaking down our cheeks…already missing the one that is gone.

The body so still. The breath has ceased. The lids now closed.

Burial. In the ground. Dirt covered.

And we weep.

And yet…

Jesus‘ words ring out in the darkness. The darkness of hopelessness. The darkness of fear. The darkness of death.

I am the resurrection.

and the life.  Alive again. Living. Breathing. In glory.

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

He who believes in me, though he dies,

yet shall he live. Shall live. With Him. Forever. Real. Oh, so real.

No more heart hurt, no more rampant cancer, no more diseased body, no more accidents, no more shallow breathing, no more depression, no more pain, no more poor vision, no more sickness…

No more.

Believe in Me, Jesus whispers to our souls.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoeverbelieves in Him, shall have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus says,

I have conquered death. I have taken your place.

It is finished. Words that echo through the ages.

How is Easter real to you? Not only on a Sunday in April…but, all year long?

Don’t You Feel It Too?

16 Apr

Yesterday the Jesus Calling devotion (by Sarah Young) spoke to me loudly and clearly. There are times when I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God is speaking directly to me. The Word said, “TRUST ME, and don’t be afraid. Many things feel out of control…….When you are shaken out of your comfortable routines, grip My hand tightly and look for growth opportunities.”

Isn’t this the truth for most of us?  Don’t you feel it too?

I know that I like security and familiarity. I feel comfortable when I know what to expect. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stay that way for long. I try…but, so many times things are out of my control, beyond my reach, out of my grasp. I am often left wondering the “why” of the circumstances. When life doesn’t make sense to my finite mind, I need to remember to trust the Infinite.

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do, is trust. Don’t get me wrong, I want to. I need to. I long to……..

God, help me.

 

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How Precious Time Is

15 Apr

Thumbing through my planner, I see the days laid out before me.

Ink is scattered across the pages with names and times. Full. Busy.

Life passing by, another page turned, another day comes to an end.

The days sometimes can seem so long, but the weeks, they fly.

Before I know it, time slips through my grasp and another year is gone.

I try and remember that fact when my day is hard.

How precious time is.

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The Wind Takes My Breath Away

14 Apr

The wind, this morning, is roaring like a lion. Fierce and unrelenting.

The entire house is heaving against the force, bracing against the assault.

Walking the dog in this wind is no easy feat.

He is getting pushed down the yard.

Hair blowing wild. The wind taking my breath away.

Barren trees bending low.

Springtime is windy.

 

 

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Today I am thankful for: 

* wind that dries up mud

* peaceful time alone in the early morning

* a cold glass of green tea

* a slow day

* paws padding on the floor

* hearing my son on the radio

* days closer to his graduation

* looking forward to family visiting

* the week before Easter

* Jesus, God’s only Son

* His sacrifice for me

 

 

Beautiful Paintings

11 Apr

Today, over at  Lisa Jo’s,  the writing prompt is PAINT. 

Five minutes of uninterrupted writing.

No going back, no worrying about punctuation…..just letting the words flow.

Ready, set, go!

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Renoir, Rembrandt, Monet, and Van Gogh.

Famous artists, painters extraordinaire.

Hung in museums, shown in private collections.

Beautiful.

First grader, soft six year old hands painted flowers in the field.

Hung in the hallway, shown for all the family to see.

Beautiful.

A wife, mother, “closet” painter.

Flowers and fruit. Folk art.

Hung with a thumb tack on the wall in the school room.

Beautiful.

God who splashes color across the morning sky.

Blushing pinks, violet purples and wild indigo blues.

Pushing back the darkness of the night.

Beautiful.

Creativity, beauty, color.

Aesthetic.

Speaking to the heart without saying a word.

 

 

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