Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another Year Gone

Every year is filled with memories we hold onto - some good, some not so good. But regardless, they are memories. On New Years, most people make resolutions to bring into the new year. I don't. I prefer to look back on the things the previous year has taught me. And so, once again, I bring to you the lessons I've learned...(in no particular order...)

1) Some years tend to be the same as previous years. 2017 has reflected 2014.And that really isn't a good thing :/
2) It is still painful to have to leave someone you love in a hospital, and be without that person for a few weeks.
3) It takes more strength than one knows - more strength than I have - to have to walk out of a hospital, leaving a loved one there.
4) People can be so cruel. That's all I'm saying on that one.
5) I suck at saying goodbye.
6) True love can get through anything.
7) My children are absolutely amazing. They've dropped everything to get their dad to the hospital, or to visit him while he was there. They've dropped everything just to show up out of the blue with a Christmas tree and to help decorate when they heard we weren't in a Christmasy mood. They have let go of their own plans to be there for me when I needed them. They've made me laugh when all I could do was cry.
8) My mother (in law) is a beautiful, wonderful woman. This year has been particularly difficult. But time and again this woman has been there for us. I have always joked that I married Tyler for his parents. While that isn't why I married him, I do have to say that it was definitely a blessing to marry into his family. His parents were the parents I always dreamed of having. His mom is the mom I always wanted. And I miss his dad dearly.
9) Did I mention I suck at saying goodbye?
10) Did I mention that people can be cruel? They can bring their own preconceived notions and biases into a situation, and destroy people with their stupidity. Oh wait... I said I wasn't saying anything more about this...
11) Again, true love can get through anything - even the lies and stupidity of cruel people.
12) Sometimes, we just need a break to think things through. But...
     12.a) sometimes that break makes us realize what is truly worth fighting for
     12.b) sometimes that break makes us realize how much we're loved
     12.c) sometimes that break makes us realize how much we love others.
13) There is nothing more amazing than the giggles from little kids.
14) Things rarely ever go as planned
15) Camping in the back yard, fire pit nights, swimming in the middle of the night, playing board games, watching movies, or just sitting around talking - it doesn't matter what you're doing, as long as you're doing it with people you love and people who love you.
16) I don't think I'll ever grow up when it comes to playing in mud puddles.
17) I don't think I'll ever grow up, period :p
18) I don't want to ever grow up.
19) I may not have a lot of friends, but that's probably because the ones I do have are considered family to me. They are brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, etc. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
20) The Game of Things is sooo much fun! Well, most games are when you're in the company of a bunch of crazy people.
21) I love binge watching shows. Current fav - Criminal Minds. I've watched some on and off through the year, but decided a few weeks ago to start at the first episode and am now finally in season 9 :-D
22) Having a tv buddy is fun... even if that person isn't in the same room. Actually... that's kind of better sometimes. You can ignore them when they try to talk to you in the middle of the show :p
23) Sometimes, ya just gotta wonder if your kids are really genetically yours. But then they do something off the wall and crazy and you think "Yup... there I am!"
24) Some days I really wonder why Tyler continues to put up with me. I am grateful he's stayed with me for almost 25 years, and I love him dearly.
25) Some days I wonder why friends/family continue to put with me. I don't even like putting up with me some days.
26) Suicide has touched so many more lives than I ever imagined. And I am so blessed to have been accepted into this group of amazing people who are doing what they can to draw attention to this illness that attacks every age, gender, social class, race, etc. You guys have helped me more than you realize.
27) I am so truly blessed to have the wonderful friends/family I have. You know who you are - I love you!

Oh hell.... I probably could come up with a thousand more. But right now, I'm spending time with friends/family who mean the world to me. And that is what means the most.... the people who are there... the people who know you and accept you. Happy new year!

Church of Misfits 1st Sunday after Christmas

Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 148
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:22-40

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Do You Knock Down or Lift Up?

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”  Benjamin Disraeli

I remember back in elementary school, I was not a very good athlete. I was the one picked last to be on a team. Groans echoed throughout whatever team I was on when it came my turn to kick the ball, or hit the ball, or whatever.

When I started writing, I had people who told me I would never be a good writer. I was stupid for trying. When I began doing artwork, it was the same. There was the constant knock down.

But we don’t ever see God doing this. He doesn’t tell us “you’re too stupid to write,” or “you’re too lazy to be in sports,” or “you’re too fat to be found attractive.” He never says “you are too selfish to be loved,” or “you can’t carry a tune well enough to sing,” or “you’re too much of a sinner to teach or preach.”

Instead, we have a God who gives us each special gifts. And he wants us to use those gifts. And it is not up to any human whether or not we are capable of using those gifts. God simply wants us to use those gifts to the best of our ability in service towards him and others.

We should not be putting each other down. We should not be pointing out each other’s faults or lack of ability in using those gifts. And we shouldn’t be a stumbling block for someone who is trying to figure out what their gift is.

Instead, we should be helping one another find our gift. We should be encouraging one another. It isn’t enough to share our own gifts with others. We need to uplift one another and help them hear God’s call – help them find their gift that they can then use to serve our Lord.

Just as God uses people to help reveal our purpose; so Satan uses people to distract us from that purpose. And, contrary to what some people may believe, Satan doesn’t just use non-believers or the “unsaved” (don’t get me started on that term). In fact, he prefers to use God’s faithful followers. I mean, who are you more likely to believe? Someone you know is a believer, or someone who doesn’t even think God exists? I know I tend to take the word of fellow believers over the opinions of others. So for one of those fellow believers to knock me down? To discourage me from my purpose? That has a greater impact. Satan knows this.

For this reason, the next time you hear someone singing off-key, or expressing a desire to write, or to preach God’s word – still your tongue from discouraging words. Guard your heart and mouth so that Satan cannot use you for his purpose. Pray to God for guidance in how you can encourage this person to find and use their gifts.

May the God of love and peace be with you all today.

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