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I'm not quite who I used to be, but who I was has helped me become who I am. Now I am who I am. Who I was and who I am will in part determine who I become, but I'm not quite there yet.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I win

I win! You can be rude, disrespectful, and hateful which makes you look like a jerk.  I win.  You can say things about me that aren't true but that just makes you a liar and I win.  You can be immature, irresponsible, and pathetic which reveals who you really are and I still win.  I win because I prayed for you.  When you said things to hurt my feelings, I prayed for God to show you love.  When you told someone else something about me that wasn't true, I prayed for God to reveal His truth to you.  When you stole money from me I prayed for financial blessings for you.  When you destroyed something that belonged to me I prayed for God to protect your belongings.  When you tried to sabotage my job I prayed for job security for you.  When you put me in danger because you weren't paying attention, I prayed for your safety.  I win! There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent me from praying for you.  Praying for you when you try to hurt me gives me peace, love, and joy.  The more you try to hurt me, the more I'll pray for you.  I am content in knowing that your little schemes cannot affect God's plan for my life.  He is bigger than you and I have Him on my side.  Someday you'll accept Him and He will become Lord of your life too.  This battle you're trying to create between us will end and we'll both win.   If you want to win the only thing you can do is surrender.  Surrender to the God who can give you the ultimate victory - eternal life in Christ!  Until you do that, you guessed it - I win!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

This is NOT how it was supposed to be!

Hello Darling!  ;-) Happy anniversary!  Not that you can help, but I want my life back, not necessarily the way it was, but the way it was supposed to be.  Even before it turned upside down it wasn't perfect, but at least I was happy being with you, my best friend, my soul mate.  I'm grateful for so many things in my life right now, but I miss you.  Oh how I miss you.  I miss our life together.  The early morning walks on the beach and jogs in the park, the weekend cookouts, playing the part of the military wife, the inside jokes, blockbuster, the dictionary :-)  We were supposed to be a family together forever.  You would be retired from the military now and I would be out of medical school and running my own practice.  We had everything planned out.   You dying was not part of that plan.   This is NOT how it was supposed to be!

I have so many emotions to deal with, questions with no answers, anger, heartache, guilt, bitterness, what if, why, if only.  Why did I have to leave, I could have stayed; Why didn't you just come with me?  If only I'd of been there.  I just wish it would all go away and you would be back.  I cry myself to sleep wishing I would wake up and it just be a nightmare.  I'm still in denial thinking that one day I'll answer the phone and someone from the hospital will say you just woke up; or I'll look out the window and your car will be there.  I still have "the shirt" and I wear it when I miss you; sometimes I even sleep with it.  The angel you gave me is beside my bed so I can look at it as I go to sleep.  The kangaroo I gave you is on your side.  I pick it up and think of you often.  I miss you so much.  I'm sorry I wasn't there for you.  If I'd of been there things would probably be a lot different now.

I know I need to let go because you're never coming back.  I said I would love you for the rest of your life and I was thinking that would be a very long time.  Your life here has ended but my love for you lingers on.  I need some sort of closure so that I can move on with the rest of my life.  I need to eliminate the why's and if only's and just accept that even though it's not the way it was supposed to be, this is the way it is.  I'm ready to meet someone else and start a new life but in order to do that, I have to let you go. You will always have a very special place in my heart and PC will always be ours.  Happy anniversary, Darling, but hopefully by this time next year, I won't miss you so much.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas

I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but I'm already excited about Christmas.  Six weeks until Christmas Day!  Two more weeks and the Christmas traditions I've come to love officially begin at our house.   I'm looking forward to the whole season more than I ever have.  I already put my lights up this week (because I don't want to wait until it's cold outside? Maybe) although I am resisting the urge to turn them on until after Thanksgiving.


Why am I more excited this year?  I don't know, maybe it's because I already went to Biltmore to see the tree arrive, which was fabulous; or maybe it's because I already have most of my shopping done; a very easy task considering I'm keeping the quantity of gifts and the amount spent uncharacteristically minimal; Even to the point of making a dollhouse instead of buying one.  This isn't about the money though, it's about sacrificing my time for someone I love to give her the one and only thing she mentioned when I asked, "What do you want for Christmas this year?"  Although it would be easier to just go pick one out, and the hours I'm putting into it far exceed the amount it would cost to buy one, but this one will be personal, one of a kind, (and quite lovely if I do say so myself) and hopefully have a lot more meaning, thus get played with more than one from a box.


I'm not sure what it is that makes this year different, but it definitely is.  This year everything about the Christmas season seems more personal and meaningful.  I'm so excited I can't hardly wait to turn the calendar over to December and start counting down the days to the big 25.  Maybe it's that my relationship with Christ is much deeper than in years past.  I've always, well, at least in my adult life, known the true meaning of Christmas and had the utmost respect for religious traditions.  My daughter knows that the Santa's she sees are simply men dressed in beautiful costume and will not be coming into our home while we sleep, leaving presents, eating our cookies, and flying away led by tiny reindeer.  She knows that we celebrate Christmas because Jesus came from heaven, to earth, for us.  We both celebrate Christmas, as Christians knowing that Jesus made sacrifices in order to give us a better life - eternal life in heaven.  In the spirit of Christmas, and in honor of Christ, what do we sacrifice in order to give others a better life?  This is what I'm praying about during the Christmas season this year.  What does Christ want me to sacrifice in order to demonstrate His sacrifice for us?  If He can leave the luxury of being at the Father's side in heaven to be born alongside farm animals, live for 33 years being hated and mocked, eventually being crucified so that I could have eternal life with Him, what minute act could I possibly do for someone else that will honor His sacrifice?  Honestly, right now, I don't know, but I trust that He will show me and I pray that I'll have the courage to do it.


Will you pray for God to show you how you can make a sacrifice in honor of Him?  There are millions of people, from remote countries to our own neighborhoods and families who have no idea what Christmas is really about because they don't know Christ.  For a long time I was one of them.  Not only did God save my sinful soul, He has blessed me far more than I could ever imagine.  I imagine you can say the same?  The absolute least I can do for Him is honor His birth and life by loving others in His name.  In whatever manner He chooses for me to do that, I shall do it!  I pray that you will too.


I hope everyone who reads this has a beautiful and blessed Christmas season.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Do Christians Celebrate Halloween?

 Oh yeah, that's right, we don't! As Christians we don't celebrate this holiday; we participate in the Halloween alternative, some sort of festival or "trunk or treat" at church.  Why is it that we think we need an alternative?  Why do we as Christian individuals and especially as churches support the sales of Halloween paraphernalia?  Halloween has become the second largest holiday, just behind Christmas.  Retail companies have come to love this holiday as more and more people support the sales of candy, costumes, and decorations.  The churches have hugely contributed to this with the Christian alternative of "trunk or treating" asking people to bring candy, and more candy, and we still need candy.  What does that say to the unbelieving world when the  church is one of the biggest supporters of Halloween sales?

Now I'm all for Fall Festivals and Harvest Parties anytime between September and November, but not as an alternative to Halloween.  I don't need something to participate in just because other people are celebrating something I don't believe in.   Although I've participated in these activities as a child and as a parent, this year is different.  This year I have been convicted and cannot in good conscience participate.  On October 31 I'll be at home, but I won't be passing out candy or even tracts to those trick-or-treating.  Instead I'll be spending the evening in prayer.  I'll be praying for those people who literally celebrate because they are well-aware of what Halloween really is.  I'll also be praying that next year and for years to come that more and more people, especially church leaders across the nation will be convicted, as I have been, that Halloween is not a time for celebration, but a time for prayer.

I am well aware that I'm in the minority here.  I know that my own church is having a festival on Halloween weekend and if that festival keeps someone out of trouble or leads them to Christ that's awesome.  I also know that God is certainly capable of keeping that person out of trouble and revealing His truth to them through numerous other sources.  That same person would probably come to a fall festival and hear the Gospel regardless of the date.  So, why not have a Harvest or Thanksgiving Festival in November?  In fact, I'm guessing more people would come out for that than a Halloween celebration anyway.  Same activities, except the trunk or treat - and seriously does anyone really need more candy?!!

What if Christians stopped buying candy, costumes, and decorations for their alternatives?  What if Halloween became the least celebrated holiday?   What if churches stopped "trunk-or-treating" and had prayer vigils instead?  What would that say to the non-believing world?  Hmmm - I wonder.  I say we try it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Keeping it Real

Are you a Christian? How? Because you said a prayer, you asked God to forgive you and come into your life? Are you a Christian because you got baptized and joined a church? If you took a shower, rubbed some wax on your body, sprayed armour-all on your shoes, and stood in a garage, would that make you a car? You might resemble one, but no, that would not make you a car. Resembling a Christian doesn't make you a Christian. A Christian has prayed the salvation prayer and been baptized and joined a church, but it doesn't end there. A real Christian not only believes in Christ, but behaves like Christ. A real Christian exhibits the characteristics and spirit of Christ. In order be like Christ, it's imperative to know Christ. When you meet someone new, how do you get to know them? You spend time with them and have conversations with them. How do you get to know Christ? You spend time with Him and have conversations with Him. Talk to Him through prayer, listen to Him through quite time alone with Him and through His Scriptures. Listen in church. God uses pastors and teachers to speak to us. Listen to them! Go to church with the expectation of communicating with God. A real Christian knows Christ, communicates with Christ, and has a continuing relationship with Christ. Are you a real Christian? Just keeping it real!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What do eggs have to do with Easter?

Eggs represent new life. When Christ arose from His death, He began a new life. When we accept the gift of eternal life in Christ and vow to live for Him, we begin a new life as well.

Decorating eggs represents our creation. As we take an egg out of the carton, it's fragile and easily cracked. We boil it in hot water for nine minutes to strengthen it's form. We dye, paint, color, wrap in plastic covers, etc to make it as pretty and unique as we desire. When God first forms a baby in the womb, she's fragile and easily broken. We nurture her in the womb for nine months to strengthen her form. During this time, God decorates her with facial features, personality traits, and physical characteristics to make her as pretty and unique as He desires. 
Jesus died on the cross to give us new life.  We dye eggs to represent the new life we have through Christ.

Filling plastic eggs with treats represents happy moments in life. As we live out the life God has planned for us, we find the little joys He has in store for us along the way. Occasionally we may find a lemon drop or licorice jelly bean, after all the evil one still tries to get his way. I just throw those in the trash and rest assured that more chocolate is yet to come!  No offense intented if you like lemon drops or licorice.

Egg hunts represent our relationship with God. Sometimes when we do things we shouldn't do, we feel embarrassed or ashamed and we tend to hide from God or avoid Him. Often times we even refrain from fellowship with other Christians and go off into the dark corners of the world. However, God loves us so much that He wants to keep us close. When we hide from Him, He will find us and put us back in fellowship with our fellow Christians (the other eggs in the basket!) Although our sin-debt was paid by Christ on the cross, we still must ask forgiveness when we do wrong. If the eggs we've hidden outside remain hidden for too long, the inside of the egg may begin to sweat from the hot sun, the treats inside will melt and ruin and it may even get rained on and become dirty. The longer we hide from God, the more our hearts are affected by the harsh elements of the world. The sooner we come back and come clean with God, the sooner we can enjoy the good life He has in store for us, like all the little chocolate moments!

As for the rabbit and bunny, I have no clue as to how these relate to Easter. If you have an idea, I'd love to hear it.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

To Serve.

For quite some time now, I've been saying to God - wherever, whatever! I will go, do, serve in the capacity that you see fit for my life. That's pretty easy to say; it's just simple words. But, I have learned that if you don't really want to serve the Lord, don't tell Him you will. That's just being a hypocrite. Besides, He already knows your heart, you can't lie to God. You see, God told me what He wanted me do. You know what I said? Nah, I'm just going crazy - that's not God; He wouldn't want me to do that. Instead of accepting that this is His will for my life, I spent quite a bit of time trying to reason and negotiate with God about it. I don't have the personality for this, I said. Look at my past, all the mistakes and REALLY bad choices I've made over the years - how could You want ME to do this? There are so many wonderful people in the world who are far more qualified. But you know what? God doesn't see my past mistakes and REALLY bad choices I've made. He sees me for the person I am today. The person who loves Him and lives my life for Him. I still make plenty of mistakes, but at the end of the day, God washes me clean, over and over again. Could He choose someone else who hasn't made the bad decisions I've made? Absolutely. Could He choose someone who doesn't continue to make mistakes? No. Because everybody makes mistakes and everybody has a past; some are just worse than others. Have you ever taken a piece of fruit that looked kind of rough on the outside, but once you peeled it and cut away the bruises, there was still some good left? That's me. Looking at the mistakes I've made, I look pretty rough, you'd never guess I'd be good for anything. But God can use the little bit of good that's left. To quote a movie line - "these almost rotten plums make the best jelly". Just for kicks let's look at the other side. Fruits and vegetables that are nearly perfect. Potatoes are the worst. You think you've got this real nice potato and you put in the oven and bake it, get the butter and sour cream ready and you cut that thing open just to find a big rotten spot right in the middle. Once you cut away the bad part, there's hardly anything left, and you never would have guessed just by looking at the outside. That's how a lot of people are today. On the outside they look near perfect. They go to church, they're involved in service projects, they attend prayer meetings, sing in the choir; whatever needs to be done, they're there to help. But if you could take away the outer peel and see inside their soul - I believe it would be almost rotten. That's a bad place to be too. It makes it hard to come clean. After all, everyone already thinks you are! But believe me, just being involved isn't what matters. Doing what God leads us to do, for the purpose of serving Him, is what really matters. It's not being involved that means something, it's your motive, your heart. Take it from someone who knows from experience - doing everything because you can, means nothing compared to serving in the one or two areas because you know God has called you to do it. Today at church as we ended the service, and I sang the words "take my life and let it be; all for you and for your glory" it meant far more to me today than the many times I've sang it before. Although in the past when I've sang it, I thought I meant it, it really felt like I meant it, but I don't think I really did mean it. Not until today. What was so different about today? Today I honestly meant it. You see, this past week, I quit trying to reason with God and I surrendered to His call. I'm going back to school to get my degree in Ministry! I'm hoping to have my four-year degree in about 18 months (we'll see) and in the meantime, I can honestly pray, God - wherever, whatever, I'll serve in the capacity that You choose for my life. To pray it and really mean it - I've never felt anything like it. If you notice, when I started out, my words were "I've been saying to God" - one quick note just in case you need something to think about: saying something to God is not the same as praying to God. Until next time, Blessings!