It’s Mother’s Day Again?

It comes around at this time every year… Mother’s Day.

Knowing it’s coming doesn’t make it any easier for some of us.

There are those of you who have awesome mothers who are still alive and you can’t wait to celebrate her. How wonderful!

There are those of you who are moms and your kids will celebrate you. Enjoy!

Then there are those for whom Mother’s Day is filled with mixed emotions for various reasons…

Their mother has died.

They don’t have a good relationship with their mother or mother in law.

Or they want to be a mom and aren’t yet because of infertility, or because they are still single, or their spouse doesn’t want children.

Or they had an miscarriage, or abortion, or placed their baby for adoption, or their child has died.

All of those leave empty places in our hearts that a”Happy Mothers Day” greeting hits hard.

There were some years as an adult that Mother’s Day was a good day, when my daughter as a child focused on celebrating me as her mom. Precious.

Most of the last 26 years have been tough. That’s how long Mom has been gone.

And double whammy. Her birthday is May 12. Always close to and even sometimes on Mother’s Day.

I had a wonderful mom. She loved me and I knew it. ( Dad too, but this is about moms.)

No, don’t misunderstand me. She was far from perfect. She had her flaws. We all do.

She had a temper that could unfurl at the drop of a hat, seemingly coming from nowhere.

We kids hated to see mom’s displeasure.

And Most of the time she was wise and kind and patient, understanding, and loving.

That’s what I choose to remember.

I miss my mom. Still.

Mother’s Day has never been the same.

There is an empty spot that just can’t be reached.

As a Christian, I firmly believe that my mother is in heaven with Jesus, waltzing and singing, and maybe playing her violin. This is good. No, this is fantabulous.

I believe I will see her again. This is comforting.

And I still miss my mother today. Here. Now.

As tears stream down my face, I think of other friends who have each lost their mother

More recently. This is the first year for many of them.

I wonder how they will face this coming Sunday of Mother’s Day.

Bittersweet. With tears of pain and sorrow. And joy for the blessing of a wonderful mother.

Time marches on and life goes by.

And we are the lucky ones. We had good mothers who loved us, and cared for us, guided us through life.

There are many children of mothers, both living and dead, who somehow neglected them. Children who have something essential missing in their growth and development.

I don’t know their stories. I believe it’s necessary to reframe it in a way that gives mercy and grace to those moms and imparts value and worth to the child.

Child, it wasn’t you. You are lovable. You have worth. You are a valuable creation.

It was your mother. Somehow she was incapable of seeing and providing what you so deeply needed. Whether she was so wrapped up in her own needs and worries of her life or just incapable , she failed you when you needed her. She did the best she could with what she had in wisdom, knowledge, life skills, coping skills, and finances.

It doesn’t make it hurt any less. And it might give understanding and compassion.

Each of us walking this earth had a birth mom who chose life for us. Whatever kind of mother she was or wasn’t, she chose to give you life. Now that’s worth celebrating.

Life is the best gift ever.

This Mother’s Day, choose to Celebrate Life. Now, Go. Live it well.

Shoes? Sandals? Boots?

img_6137What is your favorite kind of footwear?  Mine is my flip flops.  I live in Southern California and I can wear them almost all year around.

My bible study group has been studying the armor of God from Ephesians 6.  This is what I’m learning about the part of Armor called the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.

Shoes– feet need footwear for protection
Gospel — the Good News of eternal life in Jesus Christ
Peace– calmness in the midst of chaos
Shalom–eirene– a spiritual force that overcomes chaos — health, harmony, wholeness in chaos swirling around you ( me)

Have you noticed? Anywhere that peace is lacking, the enemy is at work.  If you have No peace?? Then the Enemy is at work. It’s very predictable, a given.

As shoes protect the feet, we need the peace “of God” and peace “in God ” to protect the heart.  Peace is my anchor that will hold, even when the waves get wild.

Is 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Col 3:15. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Phil 4:6-7. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Trust in the Lord. Trust activates thankfulness. Thankfulness activates peace.  Give thanks with a grateful heart.  Be grateful. Be gracious.

Be a person who brings good news– the gospel of Jesus Christ– to others. Go tell them. Go. Wherever you are. Go. Speak up. Tell them.

If peace is missing, look at your thoughts. What’s ruminating in there? Is it true? Is it noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report?

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This is what should be in your mind. If not, transform your mind. And however do I do that?
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Like soldiers in battle, we must stand firm and hold the line. Sturdy shoes with spikes help us stand our ground. Stand firm with the whole armor of God.

Beach volleyball. No shoes needed. Almost everything else needs the appropriate footwear. Put your shoes on. The shoes of Peace.
Together we are as as strong as the weakest link. We need to support each other and stand firm together. We are not meant to fight the battle alone.

The Lone Survivor– Never Forget

Just the other day, I finished reading a book that touched my heart and soul. It was recently released as a movie, although I have not seen it yet. Rest assured, we will.

Because my husband has read the book, I decided to read the book before I go with him to see the movie. ( We are big fans of movies.) Quite frequently, I never read the book on which the movie is based. I am usually a slow reader, savoring every morsel of detail. The movies can never go into all that detail and plot line, so unless it is a quick read, very popular, or both, I seldom read a book that gets turned into a movie. ( I read none of the Harry Potter books. I read all the Hunger Games.)

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I am so very glad that I read “THE LONE SURVIVOR”. I am so filled with admiration, respect, and gratitude for the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces. All of them. Everywhere.

“The Lone Survivor” is the story of Marcus Luttrell, the only survivor of the Operation Red Wings in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan during the summer of 2005.
I won’t tell his story here, other than to say that by the title, he alone survives an insertion with his SEAL team to fight the Taliban. The book is well written, describes the ‘torture’ of the intense SEAL team training and all the other choices in his life that led him to be at that place and time. He was as well prepared as any man could be for what he experienced during that week. It’s a miracle he survived and lived to tell the story. He calls specific instances miracles. I agree.

It’s inconceivable to me what the SEALs go through to complete their training and prepare for duty. I’m a female whimp. I would never even dream of doing any of that. Get in the ocean with my boots on. No way. Let alone get wet and sandy.

What I want to say is THANK YOU to every man and woman who has ever served the USA military in any way, shape, or form. I have the deepest gratitude for your service, your dedication, your courage, your willingness to serve. For your perseverance under difficult circumstances, your never give ip attitude, for the sacrifice your family makes.

Believe me, I am sure it is a sacrifice. My husband traveled for his job one to three days each week for most of his career. It was a major inconvenience, especially when we had a small child at home. And that was nothing compared to what these military families have to adjust to during long months of deployment by their serving family member!
I have gotten many perks of being able to travel with my husband over the years. Please tell me, what perks do the Armed Forces families’ get?

What Marcus Luttrell saw and lived through in the Battle for Murphy’s Ridge is beyond my imagination. The horror of seeing his best buddies killed right in front of his eyes. The galant way those wounded SEALs kept fighting to the end. The anguish of knowing 16 other brave men never even got the chance to get off the helo before the enemy shot it down, all while responding to the last call for help to try to save you.

Inconceivable.

My eternal gratitude goes to the men whose real life actions are the reason for the retelling of this story. Never forget.

Please accept my heartfelt gratitude to those of you who still serve every day, and to those who have ever served, in order to keep this country the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Mary Poppins and Saving Mr Banks

My husband and I love to watch movies. This Christmas holiday we saw ” Saving Mr Banks” which is a delightful story of Mr Disney’s struggle to get the movie rights to “Mary Poppins.”

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The author, P.L. Travers is very proper in the British style. She has become very attached to her created character of Mary Poppins. Reluctant to relinquish her rights, Mr Disney sets his mind to win her over. It’s a challenge, to be sure. Walt must be most persuasive. As the story unfolds, we learn more about the author and her life as a child growing up. A life filled with a series of disappointments has colored how she sees the world. Holding on to Mary Poppins is one of her ways of coping with those disappointments. Ultimately, Disney persuades her that by sharing Mary Poppins, she can share her hope with children and adults everywhere. I’m so glad he was so persistent in courting her for the movie rights. What a blessing the Mary Poppins movie has been to the world… And to me.

I loved watching this story unfold. The scenes of the team creating the songs and trying to win Mrs Travers over were enchanting. Seeing her as a child and the way she loved her father, and her father loved her warmed my heart. Her father failed her many times; that part was really sad. Yet Disney had a way of making the most of it, turning it into hope and encouragement for all.

I grew up with The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday night tv. Disney captivated me with adventures and imagination. I was encouraged to dream big and reach for the stars to be whatever I wished to be. When you wish upon a star Your dreams come true.

What are you wishing for? What is your dream? What action do you need to take to put feet to your dreams?

Writing this post today is the beginning (yet again) of one of my dreams of writing. Maybe, I really can be a writer yet.

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In This World You Will Have Trouble

The enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

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Take heart, in this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.

In Frank Peretti’s book, This Present Darkness, he illustrates the invisible world of demons that roam the earth, seeking to stir up trouble. Doubt. Disparity. Darkness. And many many more. They are real. Their purpose is to take us out, to keep us from living the life we were created by God to live. If they keep us stuck, they have succeeded.

These demons — doubt, despair, discouragement, fear, are not from The Lord. They are from the enemy. If we walk through life with our eyes closed or oblivious to their existence, we are just asking for disaster to happen. So what can we do? Remember, the game belongs to The Lord and in the end, HE WINS. Hallelujah. So, Never surrender to the enemy. Surrender only to The Lord. Surrender now. Surrender daily. Seek to know His will and do it! And do it now!

What can I do? you ask. Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of the Lord. Whatever. That means every little thing. The way you drive your car on the road to work. The way you wait patiently at the check out line at the store. Every little kindness you show to another. Compassion. Patience. Kindness. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven you. Do all this for the glory of The Lord. Our hope is in the Lord.

Trust in The Lord

Lord, I’m trusting you

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Lord you are all knowing. You are all powerful. You are Good! You are wise. You know the plans you have for us, plans to prosper us. Plans for a future and give us hope.

Lord, you go before us preparing the way. You go with us, side by side. All we need to do it to open our eyes and be aware of your presence, be sensitive to your spirit that lives within us. You go behind us, like our rear guard. You’ve got my six.

In this world we will have trouble. The prince of darkness is the ruler of this world. “But take heart, I have overcome the world,” you say to us. Trials and tribulations are a method of building faith, perseverance, patience, and trust. I am trusting you, My Lord.

I have seen you do miracles recently. Baby Kira’s miraculous recovery. Tate’s life spared in a rollover wreck. And many others. And I have seen times when you have chosen not to save a life. A young wife and mother who died in her sleep. An older wife and mother who died skiing. A baby who died of cancer. Lord, it doesn’t make sense to me, to us. Their family and friends are missing the void created by their passing. And still we rejoice for we know that they are with you in heaven right now. In your presence. It still doesn’t make sense, but I trust that your wisdom is greater than mine. You know things I don’t. I will trust you.

Day by day, step by step, I’ll walk with you and cling to You. You are the only thing that does does not change. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Please take my hand to lead me through the changes in my life. You will work it all for good. Let your name be glorified over all the earth. Someday, every knee shall bow, everyone proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Yet, will I praise you!

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Storms of Life

Storms of Life 5/19/12
The older I get, the more clearly I see just how fragile life is. In an instant, life’s circumstances can change. Bad news from a doctor. An early morning call from the highway patrol. The stocker market crashes. The company downsizes and downsized you out of a job. The car needs new brakes and timing belt. What do you do when life throws you these curve balls? How do you react?

These things are just things– or are they?

Storms of life swirl all around us.
A broken toe? A broken heart?
What do we do when the wind blows strong?
And threatens to take us down?
Do we hide in the closet till the wind blows past?
Do we run to phone a friend?
Do we muster up courage to fix it ourselves ?
Or do we run to Our Savior, The Lord?
When in the boat on the Sea of Galilee
And the winds were churning the waves,
The disciples worried and fretted some more
Before they called to The Lord.
The Lord was there the whole time it was happening.
He was there from beginning to end.
He was content and peacefully sleeping,
Just waiting to be asked for his hand.
The disciples eventually turned to The Lord
And woke him up from his sleep.
Lord, don’t you care? We’re going to die!
Is that really what they think?
It’s The Lord who is with them from beginning to end
That means He is there in the midst.
He is with you in storms. He’s right in the middle.
Even if He’s asleep in the boat.
Just call to Him and He will answer you.
His love is forever for you.
He’s awaiting your call, to be asked for his help.
He has strength to handle it all.
He does not want us to go through troubles alone.
He promises to be by our side.
What ever the outcome, one thing is still true
He is always still walking with you.
So go to Him first. Whatever you do.
Just ask for His help. His promise is true.
He’s still in the midst of whatever befalls,
In His power is victory for all. Just ask.

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