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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Thank you

I am 41 years old (Well, 41 and a half☺), and I am just now realizing I am a likable person. I saw myself in the mirror tonight, and liked who I saw. She was confident and appeared to be comfortable in her own skin.
It's amazing to me.

I have never liked myself.  I believed the voices in my head (wherever they came from) that I was unworthy and unimportant.  I believed my peers that I was dirty and disgusting (no matter how clean and careful I tried to be). I believed others in my life that treated me like I could never do or be good enough (no matter how hard I tried to listen and follow direction).

I've known for decades (almost 3) that I am a daughter of the King and am loved perfectly by Him. But knowing it doesn't mean I believe it enough to live it.  Really,  knowing it,  made it easier to excuse the love shown to me by others because,"they don't love me, God does, and they are His tools in my life." Though that is true, it is incomplete and a manner of thinking that doesn't keep one humbled,  it keeps them defeated.

But recently that's changed.

It's been a rough year, and I can't share it all. (Not yet, and maybe, some of it, never, at least not here.) But I can tell you this: the love and loyalty I have received from those closest to me has made this change possible.  I have had to make hard choices. And nobody has been able to tell me what is the right path to take. It's been me and God (God telling me and me obeying!) the whole way. But the remarkable few who have been my sounding boards,  my wise counselors, have been an enormous blessing.  See, they couldn't,  or maybe wouldn't,  tell me what to do.  They gave opinions,  knowing and saying, I needed to decide on my own what to do. And each step, even if they thought a decision wasn't the best,  it changed nothing in their acts of love and support for me, in this darkest season of my life.

I have had to not worry about pleasing anyone but God. I have had to choose His path even though it is not what I believe most of those around me would recommend (and why most of my godly counsel wouldn't say "this is what you need to do..."). And the amazing part? This handful of people,  active in my decision making, loving me and encouraging me, even though none of us knew what the right answer was. Even if they disagreed at the time.  Bold enough to correct a bad attitude,  or suggest what I didn't want to hear, or debating future outcomes. 

But I know they love me. No matter what happens, or where I go, I am loved. I belong. I am accepted. Not on condition of measuring up to human expectations,  but because of who I am and what I mean to them. They value me not because I can honor and serve them, but simply because I am me.

To be loved unconditionally has always been a dream. It has been realized. Knowing that gives me a strength and confidence I have never had before. The confidence to seek God's will and follow it without concern about pleasing anyone else.

And it shows in my mirror,  and I really like who I see there.  There was that one day in April 18 years ago, I thought I was beautiful.  But today, I like who I am and who I am growing up to be. (There is a difference in seeing beauty, and liking what is seen)

My support system knows who they are, and I can never thank them enough.  Not only for holding me up with your prayers, but for helping me to discover how wonderful knowing I am loved is and what it feels like.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"We love you like a daughter"

"We love you like a daughter"

Today, they said it twice. And they said it to me a week ago, too.  It overwhelms me.  And the amazing part? I know they aren't the only couple to feel that way!

I don't understand it. I completely appreciate it.

I know what it is to be unloved. To feel disposable.  To be convinced that the world would be a better place if I would just kill myself (not to never have been born, but if I would just die--yes I had people convince me of this).

I know I am loved. I know unconditional love, from many. When I pause to think about it, and start to name names, I can't comprehend it. Why me? Why am I worthy or deserving of such love, from so many? Yeah, I'm needy, and insecure, but aren't others just as needy, or more so?  Why do I get to steal all these hearts? What makes me so special?

These people don't have to participate in my life at all. Yet they spend hours on the phone, or with me in their homes, the send, spend and give me money that they have no reason to use for my aid. They send birthday and Christmas gifts to me and my children... Because of these people, my children have more life savings than I do!

God is so good to me. And the more I dwell on His goodness to me, the less worthy I feel.

Every one of these people have their own children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, why do I get to be added to their numbers?

I am blessed beyond measure. My family in Christ is my family.  I don't know how He knits hearts together, and I don't know why He chooses the people He brings together, but I am so very thankful! Because without the love and care of those He has put in my life, I would not be who I am. And more than that, I wouldn't understand Who He is as well as I do. True adoption. Unconditional love. Grace. Mercy. Trust. I wouldn't understand any of it.

Thank you for loving me.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Grandpa Man

It has been a long time since I have written anything on this blog. 

But a chapter is ending. One I am not ready for (I could never be ready for it), but God's time is. 

Do you have one person, who is a constant in your life? An anchor. Steady. Strong. One who has always been there, quietly in the background, yet an active part of your life? One person who, if you had never met them, you know, without doubt, your life would be completely different?

I have one. He will be leaving for Heaven soon. He'd be the first to tell you, it's a God thing, what happened to bring our lives together. But I assure you that he had to be a willing tool in God's hand in order for what happened in my life, to have happened.  (If you wanna know what happened, go back and read all the previous blog posts)

I have many people I can't imagine what it would be like to not have them in my life. I have some that have made a difference by helping me learn and grow. People I don't have words to express my thankfulness that they are a part of my world.   But this man. ...

He allowed God to use himself and his wife to literally change the direction of my life. If they hadn't obeyed God and I hadn't followed them (while obeying God!)... I wouldn't be now anything I am today. 

He not only got involved enough in my life to give me the help I needed to change my life, he taught me (by way of demonstration) things that would otherwise be simply theology (true ideas, but concepts I could never grasp). He has demonstrated unconditional love and true adoption, his strength of character and peaceful spirit, gave me a natural tendency to have reverential fear and respect for him .  We are taught a father is to be a picture of God to his children (not a god, but our best source for understanding our relationship to God), and this man brought that understanding to me. 

He was willing to not simply give advice or his opinion, he was willing to "get his hands dirty ", to take the risk and get his heart involved. By choosing to be involved in a situation that was a part of this world, that so many don't want to be anywhere near, he made all the difference in my life. 

I am so thankful and blessed to have known him. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Progress

The hardest thing for me is to accept a compliment. I can believe you see what you say you see, but I don't necessarily believe you see the real me. I am so quick to laugh it off or pass the compliment off as "God working in and through me" (which I do believe is the truth--any good thing you see, is God in me), that it sometimes seems (to me) that I am insulting the sincerity of the one giving the compliment.  

But today was different. Today someone who has known me for a long time gave me a compliment. She knows me better than anyone else walking the planet today. She knows me well enough to know compliments are awkward for me. And I know her well enough to know she only speaks truth to me. Both things I want to hear and things I don't. So when she said what she did, I could say,"thank you" and nothing more. She still pointed out she wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. And though I have my doubts, I know I could accept that truth, because it came from her. 

Not just because it came from her, but how. I know her well enough, I know her tones. I know when her sweet words aren't sincere. I know when they are. I know she knows a sincere compliment could be wasted on me, because she knows, I am not likely to believe it. She took a risk in being completely honest in her words...  And I heard that in what she said, when she said it--and that gave me the ability to believe her. 

Am I wonderful?  Well, my knee jerk reaction would be to say "No. I just try to be obedient to a wonderful God and do what He says. So if you see me being wonderful, it's really just Him."  And though that is true... As I think that answer. As I was ready to reply to her with that answer, I was reminded, that God in His Word clearly states that I was "fearfully and WONDERFULLY made".  So, what could I say?  All I could say was "Thank You."

I don't see me as wonderful. I try to be obedient. In that obedience I try to avail myself to  do what He asks... And I fail. Every day. 

But maybe, I am wonderful. Full of wonder? Absolutely! Cause others to wonder? No doubt about it! Made in the image of Him who is called Wonderful... Yup. 

Arrived...no, far from it. 

And all I can do, is praise the Lord for Who He is and who I am not, and who He is making me. Because who I was and who I am are two completely different people, and the difference is Him. 

To God be the glory!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Three gone in a week

Yeah. Three friends gone in less than seven days… the first two were sad. I'll miss them. Sweet men of our church. Kind. Caring. Always a smile and a kind word….

The third, took my breath away. She was MY friend. I don't know what knit our hearts together so. She invested time and enjoyed my company. She was open and loved to share her past. She loved to laugh. We were the same height, wore the same shoe size and had the same middle name. Old enough to be my grandma, but loving enough to be my friend.

She was one of several ladies who befriended me and she was the last one to leave…. I guess I'll be OK without the anchor of her presence, or she wouldn't have been called home.

It's just weird.

Ever lose someone or something and feel all alone? Like nobody can begin to understand the loss? It's not simply "farewell my friend", a part of my past is gone, the chapter is fully written. There is no more with "my widow" ladies. The laughter has faded, the learning is done… the love will live on in my heart.

I will miss MY Mrs. A. often and much. I hope I have learned something of her character that I can pass on to those who never knew her…

Friday, April 27, 2012

"My" People

I collect "old people". I love them. A great source for love, wisdom… examples of Christ's love. But they leave. Heaven is full of my friends. And more are preparing to to go…my selfish self really doesn't like that reality.

I love "my old people", and I am always excited for them to go, because they are perfect and whole, better than ever before. But I am selfish. I want them here where I can see them and touch them and talk to them… hear their voice once more…

Really worse than having them gone, is watching them prepare to go. The deterioration of the strong and healthy to weak and feeble absolutely breaks my heart. To see the grace with which so many endure is a true blessing and encouragement. But to see what must be endured, of we remain on this Earth for 80 or 90 or 100 years, is discouraging.

I can't tell how many times I've heard,"Don't get old..." believe me, I want to take that advice more than any other advice anyone has ever given…

It just hits every now and again…

The reality of time. It's unstoppable. Irreversible.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wow moment

I am committed! The ladies prayer group thing has been announced and my name is attached… I cannot back out now, unless God takes me out… and somehow, I don't think that is going to happen.

As we were singing songs in the beginning of the service this morning, we were singing about the Lord's return and there was a line in one of the songs about seeing my friend. I know it was referring to Jesus, but for whatever reason it brought Mrs. K to mind. Then my sweet little easily distracted mind wandered off into her and how amazed she would be by this new ministry I have put together. Not only that I put something together and am about to make it happen, but that it's PRAYER centered. ME leading a prayer group?!?? She would be rejoicing in the Lord so much because she knows how difficult it was for her to get me to pray "dear Lord, thank you for this day. Amen."

She promised me it was important to learn to pray… if we only knew. And I know why I didn't know lol.

Isn't God amazing.

Part of me wishes she could be here. But all of me knows she is not supposed to be. And a piece of me believes she is here, in my heart, in who I am… I wouldn't be here about to do this of she wasn't who she was in my life and hadn't done what she did.