flashthoughts

Archive for December 2018

FACEBOOK GROUP COVER - IN CHALLENGESThere are no presents under our tree;
However, HIS PRESENCE fills our home.
Our lives are full of the gifts
He’s been giving us all year long.

I jotted down that little poem in a note app on my phone Christmas morning. I thought maybe there would be more to go with it. I’ve been praying about it since then and, as I sat down this morning to see if I was supposed to elaborate on it, I felt it was complete. I mean, it really does say it all.

For some who may not truly understand, though, I will try to explain just a tiny bit here in this post.

My heart was FULL on Christmas Day just remembering how God has blessed us throughout this past year. There were a lot of changes in our lives – happy changes, sad changes, just changes in general.

In January – wait, let me back up to last December 1st, because that is when Mom got her lung cancer diagnosis. Okay – then, in January, Frank was approved to go in Bullock Correctional Facility as the Assistant Chaplain.

February 20th – God sold our house in Atmore and let us know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, we were moving to Union Springs EARLIER rather than LATER. (We had been thinking we would move in the summer – AFTER I finished my commitment to my HIPPY job)

March 10th – We moved to a rental house in Union Springs – totally provided by God because, when our house sold in February, we had no idea where we were going to stay! I would leave on Sundays and go back to Atmore to stay with Mom at her house through Thursday each week, until my job with HIPPY ended May 11th.

March 17th – He showed us the house that would become our home – even though we had no idea how He was going to do it. He did – and it became officially our home May 11th!

May 6th – Mom was promoted to Heaven.

June 14th – Jessica found out her Dad had passed away, probably the night before, suddenly and very unexpected!

August 13th – MYA MARIE KITTS was born and Frank got to be in the delivery room! She has brought so much joy and love into all our lives these last 4½ months!

Soooooooo – you can see why my heart was so full on Christmas Day and why I mostly spent the day simply reflecting on all the wonderful gifts God has given us throughout the year. Like the peace He gave when He called Mom home – it happened pretty much just as she had always said she’d like for it to happen. Sure there are days I miss her really bad; but, I know where she is and that I’ll get to see her again, so I refuse to allow myself to get caught up in the sadness. I allow myself a good cry now and then, when it hits, but I do not allow it to linger on and on. Mom wouldn’t want me to do that.

It hurt watching my baby girl go through losing her Dad only a month after losing the only Granny she ever really knew. But, again, I am glad she also has the Peace our Father gives and I know she is doing okay. She is as great a mother as I always knew she would be, by the way! She is so wonderful with Mya – it just thrills my heart to watch her with her own baby girl!

I believe the gifts of PEACE in our losses and NEW LIFE in our family have probably been two of the most cherished gifts He has given us this year and my heart is, indeed, full!

Now, let’s enjoy the last few days of 2018 and see what wondrous things He will do in 2019!

I CHOOSE JOYSunday night (Dec. 23rd) as I lay down to go to sleep, thoughts of the day were whirling around in my head of all the different emotions I had gone through. I should have gotten up and written them down then; but, I didn’t. I sensed the Lord was giving me the words to sort it all out; yet, I still refused to get out of bed to write it down. The last thing I remember thinking was, “I choose joy!” and then I was waking up at 3:15 a.m. Now, here I am, at 12:14 Tuesday morning, and I feel He may be giving me a second chance.

I couldn’t quite put my feelings into words Sunday. I couldn’t even figure out WHAT it was I feeling. One minute, so many different things at once; the next minute, nothing! I felt pretty good Sunday morning. I sang in a choir cantata with people I had met only two weeks before! My husband, daughter, son-in-love and granddaughter were able to attend and that made it even nicer. After church, we all went to eat lunch together, which was also great! Any time spent with even part of our family is a good time! (My husband had been to Urgent Care the day before and found out he nearly had pneumonia! He got a couple shots and started medicine when he got home, so the fact he was feeling better enough to attend church Sunday morning was incredible in itself!)

This same church was having a special, candlelight service Sunday evening and I felt led to attend. (Hubby felt he needed to stay in out of the night air, due to his illness, and I agreed – even though it made me sad he couldn’t go with me.)

Mom moved to Heaven this year – May 6th, to be exact. Maybe I cried through nearly the entire candlelight service because I was missing her, maybe it was because I was thinking how much she would enjoy a service like this, if she were still here. Again, I don’t know. I only knew I couldn’t stop the tears. I DO miss my Mom. There have been many times I wanted to pick up the phone to call and share something with her, only to remember I can’t do that anymore. Mom and I were very close, we liked the same kind of shows/movies on television; we loved going to singings together; we enjoyed LIVING together, which was incredible! When I remarried in December, 2013, Mom and I didn’t necessarily talk or see each other every single day; but, we didn’t let more than a couple days go by without at least a phone call. We only lived a couple blocks from each other, so we still saw each other often! Yes, I’m sure some of my feelings Sunday came from really missing her and that is okay!

What would not be okay, in my opinion, is to WALLOW in those “poor, pitiful me” feelings! Why? Because those feelings, while perfectly natural in short time increments, are what the enemy can use to cause deep depression and wanting to withdraw from everything and everyone around me! Not to mention, my Mom would tan my hide good if she knew I was spending time wallowing in self-pity and feeling sorry for myself because I miss her! (and, if you’re too young to understand what “tan my hide good” means, ask someone older than you – LOL) Like I said, she would definitely understand me missing her – she had times when she missed my Daddy terribly – but, she also wouldn’t allow herself to “wallow” in those feelings.

So, as I lay in bed Sunday night, trying to sort out all my feelings, I kept coming back to JOY! Does choosing joy mean I am happy and smiling all the time? Definitely not! It means I CHOOSE to remember my joy comes from the Lord and is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), unlike the joy of the world, which comes from “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). By remembering this, the enemy no longer has a hold on me and I remain FREE!!!

Yes, it’s okay for me to miss my Mom and have days where I cry over the craziest, silliest, out-of-nowhere things; but, I will not allow myself to stay there and wallow in it – for these reasons:

  • God sent His ONLY Son to live on this earth in a human body so I could have relationship with Him
  • Jesus loved me enough to be willing to die on the cross for MY sins, even though He was completely innocent
  • I know Mom would NOT like it one little bit and absolutely would NOT approve – she wouldn’t want me to STAY sad, she would want me to be HAPPY for the many years we had together

We all grieve in different ways and grief is a perfectly normal thing to go through when we lose someone we love – especially someone we were very close to! I just don’t want to allow the enemy to use that grief to bind me! Yes, grief can become a chain used by the enemy, if I allow it.

So, on those days when I’m feeling a little sad, I allow myself to feel sad; but, I also stay in constant prayer on those days, reminding myself to CHOOSE the Joy of the Lord and not get caught up in or overtaken by my “feelings” of grief. The devil would like nothing better than for me to allow that to happen because he can not stand for me – or anyone else, for that matter – to be FREE!!! However, the (sad for the devil) truth is that I AM free! (John 8:36)

What will YOU choose each and every day – no matter what your ‘feelings’ are? I hope you CHOOSE JOY 🙂


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